Christy Mathewson (1936)
Christy Mathewson started playing semi-pro baseball at the age of 14 and, by the time he was in a university, he was a minor league pitcher. He left the university in 1899 to play professional baseball full-time and a year later, after two years in the minor leagues, he started his 16 year career with the Giants. In his first season, Mathewson pitched in only 6 games before the Giants sent him back to the minor leagues. At that point, the Cincinnati Reds bought his contract, but they traded him back to the Giants after just a short time.
In 1901, his first full season in the major leagues, Mathewson pitched in 40 games and he ended the season with a 20-17 record, 221 strikeouts, and an ERA of 2.41. Two years later, he led the National League in strikeouts, a feat he repeated four more times in his career (1904, 1905, 1907, 1908).
In 1905, Mathewson won his first National League Triple Crown, leading the league in wins, strikeouts, and ERA. That season he had a 31-9 record, 206 strikeouts to 64 walks, and a 1.28 ERA. Two years later, he again led the National League in wins with 24 and in strikeouts with 178.
In 1908, Mathewson won his second National League Triple Crown with 37 wins, 259 strikeouts, and an ERA of 1.43. The following season, he had his lowest career ERA (1.14). In 1910, he led the National League for the fourth time in wins, ending his season with 27 wins to 9 losses. Mathewson led the National League two more times in ERA - in 1911, he had an ERA of 1.99 and in 1913, his ERA was 2.06.
The Giants traded Mathewson to the Cincinnati Reds in 1916 and he served as their manager for the next three seasons (1916-1918). His record as manager of the Reds was 164 wins to 176 losses.
After finishing his major league baseball career, Mathewson served in WW I. He returned to baseball in 1919 to become a coach for the Giants. He stayed in that position for two years. In 1923, he became the part-time president of the Boston Braves.
Statistics for Mathewson in 17 seasons (1900-1916) in the major leagues include:
- 13 seasons of 20 or more wins, with a high of 37 wins in 1908
- 8 seasons with over 150 strikeouts, with a high of 267 in 1903
- 13 seasons with an ERA under 3.00, with a low of 1.14 in 1909
Career statistics for Mathewson include:
- 635 games played
- 4,780.2 innings pitched
- 373-188 win-loss record
- 2502 strikeouts to 844 walks
- 2.13 ERA