Before John Brush focused entirely on the Giants, he made a series of personnel moves involving the Giants, Reds, and Orioles, all three of which he owned. Amos Rusie hadn’t pitched since 1898 but Brush traded Christy Mathewson to the Giants straight up for Rusie.
He also signed John McGraw away from Brush’s Orioles to manage the Giants and released future Hall of Famers Joe McGinnity and Roger Bresnahan from their contracts. Both signed with the Giants. The team went on to win National League championships in 1904, 1905, 1911, and 1912, the year of Brush’s death.
This book photo is signed by the Christian Gentleman, one of the first five inductees, Christy Mathewson. With 373 wins and a microscopic lifetime earned run average of 2.13, Mathewson was elected in the very first Hall of Fame election of 1936. Mathewson autographs are especially difficult as he died 1925.