Christopher "Christy" Mathewson (August 12, 1880 – October 7, 1925), nicknamed "Big Six", "The Christian Gentleman", or "Matty", was an American Major League Baseball right-handed pitcher. He played his entire career in what is known as the dead-ball era. In 1936, Mathewson was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Christy Mathewson notched at least 20 wins in 12 straight seasons. In addition to 373 career wins, he posted a 2.13 career ERA and a 0.97 ERA in 11 World Series starts.
Mathewson's demeanor might have been an asset to baseball. He had good looks, a college education and a deep moral code. He helped instill integrity into the game at a time when it was sorely lacking.
Christy Mathewson was skilled outside the baseball field. He was an accomplished checkers player, once having defeated Newell Banks, world champion checkers player from 1917-22 and 1933-34
Using his famous fadeaway pitch, Matty won 30 games or more four times in a season. A participant in four World Series, Mathewson's lone title came in 1905 when he tossed three shutouts in six days against the Athletics
Mathewson held to his religious beliefs. He was a devout Christian who refused to pitch on Sundays.
Mathewson also made a name for himself outside of professional baseball. He was a musician and singer, a World War I veteran, author of children's books, co-author of a Broadway play.
The New York Giants paid $1,500 for Mathewson's contract from the baseball team in Norfolk. However, after six appearances and a record of 0-3, the disappointed Giants returned him to Norfolk, demanding their money back.
The Cincinnati Reds drafted Mathewson in the Rule 5 draft. Days later, the Reds traded Mathewson back to the Giants for another player.
Christy Mathewson and manager John McGraw would join the Giants in 1903. They would reverse the fortunes of the franchise that had been a laughingstock just a year before. The two men would become forever paired in baseball history.
Mathewson helped reverse the Giants fortunes in 1903 by posting a record of 30-13. More than 25,000 fans attended his games at the Polo Grounds.