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Christy Mathewson was a college man, with a range of
interests, who mowed down opposing hitters in his spare
time. While at Bucknell University, Mathewson sang in the
glee club, belonged to a literary society, played football and
served as a model of clean living. He was class president
and on the baseball team. On top of these achievements,
Mathewson also wrote a series of children's books. In a
time when baseball was known for hard-living,
hard-drinking baseball players, there was Christy
Mathewson to prove that there was another way for
athletes to live. He was the role model after whom every
parent wanted their children to shape their lives.

On the mound, Mathewson was a fierce competitor who
became arguably the most dominating pitcher of all time.
During his illustrious 17-year career, he led the league in
Quiz #83 - October 29, 2006
He was in the first group of five most famous players chosen
for the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.
Who was he and who were the other four?
Why didn't he ever pitch on a Sunday?
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Quiz #83 Results
Many thanks to Stan Read for suggesting this quiz..
Christy Mathewson
The other four were Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Babe Ruth, and Honus Wagner.
His family were devote Presbyterians.
He promised his mother he wouldn't pitch on Sunday.
Quote: "Mathewson pitched against Cincinnati yesterday. Another way of putting it is
that Cincinnati lost a game of baseball. The first statement means the same as the
second."                                                                            — writer Damon Runyon
Comments from Our Readers
This quiz certainly was timely with the World Series just completed. Yaaaaa Cardinals!  
I am always impressed with the quiz pictures.  Each one is so unique, always
challenging. My husband is the real Cardinal fan and I listen to all of the games as I
compute.  When there is excitement I get up and go watch.  We were thrilled that they
Eva Royal

Thanks for a fun quiz! I am a BIG fan of professional baseball - grew up with the
Dodgers when they were in Brooklyn & went to some of their games. I saw some
other Hall of Famers play back then.                                                    
Grace Hertz

Judy's birthday present to me this year was to send me and my oldest grade school
friend to a St. Louis Cardinal game (box seats) and then on to Cooperstown NY for the  
Baseball Hall of Fame. How great is that? With my personal attention, the Cardinals
stopped losing and proceeded to win the World Series.                            
Bill Bethea

Hey Bill,  What a nice wife!  Make sure she knows my birthday is April 25, OK?

Years ago, many states has “blue laws” on the books, and it was not until the 1960’s
that I remember one could go to shopping, or to any store in Pennsylvania .  They
have/had very strict laws about doing anything on Sunday.  Yes, I read where Christy
had played on Sunday from time to time.  It’s funny how the world changes, isn’t it?  
Now, it’s rare the store that isn’t open on Sunday, and some are open on just about
every holiday.

Yes, I do LOVE the quizzes, they’re always so much fun.  I try and get others
interested, too.  While they are entertaining, they are also instructing people on how to
analyze a situation, and use methods to come-up with a solution to the problem.  It’s
that ‘out of the box’ solutions which are so wonderful!  Thanks for providing the
opportunity to learn how to do that.                                                
Kelly Fetherlin

Yeppers, I sure am a baseball fan.  This was the easiest quiz for me, since I did not
have to look anything up =)                                  
Mark Brzys aka Dr. Rudy Jenko

I thought it was interesting that Christy fought in WWI and was caught in mustard gas
during that time.  After that he was pretty debilitated and eventually had to retire from
managing baseball.                                                                         
Sue Edminster

Thank you! thank you!  (takes a bow)  I am a baseball fan and I enjoyed every minute
of that one! :-)                                                                           
Kitty Huddleston
Christy Trivia
Christy Mathewson
Christy Mathewson was inducted in Hall of Fame in 1936. As charismatic and popular
as any player in the early 1900s, the college-educated Christy Mathewson won 373
games over 17 seasons, primarily for the New York Giants. Using his famous fade-
away pitch, "Matty" won at least 22 games for 12 straight years beginning in 1903,
winning 30 games or more four times. A participant in four World Series, Mathewson's
lone title came in 1905 when he tossed three shutouts in six days against the Athletics.
He set the modern National League mark with 37 wins in 1908.
- Christy Mathewson was an accomplished checkers player, once having defeated
Newell Banks, world champion checkers player from 1917-1922 and 1933-1934.

- Along with Henry Mathewson, he holds the major league record for combined wins
by brothers playing for the same team: Christy 372, Henry 0.

- His jersey, denoted as "NY", has been retired by the Giants.

- In 1999, he ranked number 7 on The Sporting News' list of the 100 Greatest Baseball
Players, the highest-ranking National League pitcher.

- ESPN selected his pitching performance in the 1905 World Series as the greatest
playoff performance of all time.

- Christy Mathewson Day is celebrated as a holiday in his hometown of Factoryville,
Pennsylvania, on the Saturday closest to his birthday.
Ty Cobb
Center Field
Walter Johnson
Babe Ruth
Right Field
Honus Wagner
Short Stop
Click on name of player to link to bio and photograph.
Birth name: Christopher Mathewson
Nickname: Big Six, Matty

Birth date: August 12, 1880
Birth place: Factoryville, Pennsylvania
Death date: October 7, 1925
Death place: Saranac Lake, New York

Height: 6'1 1/2"
Weight: 195 lbs.

Position: Pitcher
Threw: Right
Athletic teams:  New York
Giants                                Cincinnati
First Five Inductees into the Baseball Hall of Fame 1936
About Christy Mathewson: Did you know that ...
He was the most dominant pitcher during the first two decades of the 1900's.
His 373 career wins is third on the all-time list.
He had a career-winning percentage of .665 which is sixth best of all time.
His career ERA was 2.13, which is fifth best of all time.
During his 17 year career, he led the league in ERA five times.
He pitched a record three shutouts in six days against the Philadelphia Athletics,
leading the Giants to win the 1905 World Series.
From 1907 to 1911, his ERA was under a 2.00.
In 15 full seasons of pitching, his ERA was above a 3.00 only once.
He led the league in wins four times, in strikeouts five times, and in shutouts four
He won 20 games 13 times and 30 games 4 times.
He won at least 20 games for 12 consecutive years (1903-1914).
He is third on the all-time list for shutouts with 80.
His best season was in 1908 when he led the league in wins (37), ERAs (1.43), games
pitched (56), games started (44), complete games (34), innings pitched (390.2),
strikeouts (259), and shutouts (12).
He is one of the first five players elected to the Hall of Fame in 1936.
He had the most wins in Giant franchise history - 372 with 83 shutouts and over 2500
Biography of Christy Mathewson
Won In The Ninth by Christy
Mathewson , The New York Book
Company 1910 . Edited by W.W.
Aulick Illustrations by Felix
wins four times, won five strikeout titles, won 30 or more games four times, pitched
four shutouts and ten complete games in World Series competition, and won 373
games in his career.

In 1918, Christy Mathewson enlisted in the United States Army for World War I. He
served overseas as a Captain for that year. During a training exercise he was
accidentally gassed and consequently developed
tuberculosis. Although he returned to serve as a
coach for the Giants from 1919-1920, Christy spent
a good portion of that time upstate fighting the
aforementioned illness. In 1923, Mathewson got
back into professional baseball when he served as
part-time president of the Boston Braves. Two years
later, Christie died in Saranac Lake, New York. He is
buried at Lewisburg Cemetery in Lewisburg,

In 1936, he joined Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Ty
Cobb and Walter Johnson as the first class of
baseball Hall of Famers. Religion preventing him
from pitching on Sundays.  His nickname was "Big
Six", a reference to a famous New York fire engine
of the time, though it also may have been short for "Big six footer",
as Mathewson was considerably more stout than many players of
his era. Also at times referred to as "The Christian Gentleman",
Mathewson was said to have promised his mother that he would
never pitch on Sunday, a promise he managed to keep. Mathewson
was raised in a fairly stern Presbyterian home, and was well versed
in Scripture.

In September 1906 and the first two months of the 1907 season
Mathewson's younger brother Henry, also a pitcher, played for the
Giants. Henry made three appearances and a single decision, but set
a major league record for most walks issued in a major league debut
by walking 14. Together the brothers have the major league record
for combined wins by brothers playing for the same team: Christy
372, Henry 0. and
text from item description on eBay sale ending 11-1-06.

Photo to the right: Christy Mathewson in uniform, Chemical
Warfare Service. Photo by Andrew McLaughlin.
Available through  Click
The Truth Behind the Legend
Christy Mathewson and his orders to report for active duty in WWI.
According to baseball lore, he didn't pitch on Sunday due to a promise he made to his
mother... although there is controversy surrounding this claim.  According to, some baseball "myths" are

"How about this: Christy Mathewson never pitched on Sunday, on a promise to his
mother. Not really true, especially after his first couple of years. First of all, NY was
one of the last cities to allow Sunday ball, so it wasn't even an issue much of the time.
And on the road, while McGraw would try to accomodate him when possible,
eventually the priorities of pennant races necessitated that Christy take the ball when
Forensic Genealogy salutes the
2006 World Champion
St Louis Cardinals