So Why is Baseball Hall of Famer Christopher “Christy” Mathewson’s Autograph is Hard to Find?
Christopher “Christy” Mathewson was a Major League baseball player that pitched for the New York Giants and ended his career with the Cincinnati Reds. Although he died at an early age, Christy had a long and wildly successful career as a pitcher from 1900 to 1918 and was one of the first five players to be inducted to the Baseball Hall of Fame along with Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, and Walter Johnson! His accomplishments include:
- Had most wins (372) in New York Giant’s history with 83 shutouts and more than 2,500 strikeouts.
- Career ERA of 2.13 and fifth best ever.
- Career winning batting average of .665 and sixth best ever.
- 373 career wins and third best ever.
As you can see, Christy is one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball history. So why is his autograph so hard to find? There are many autographs in circulation by legends like Babe Ruth. Let’s look further into Christy’s life to find possible reasons.
At a time when many baseball players were noted as heavy drinkers and womanizers, Christy took pride in being a Christian and was well known for living a very clean and moral life. In fact, he refused to pitch any games that fell on a Sunday, a promise he had made years earlier to his mother.
In 1918, Christy enlisted in the Army to fight in World War I. He was the captain of the Chemical Service and served with Ty Cobb. After arriving in France, Christy was accidentally gassed in a training exercise that led to him developing tuberculosis. He was discharged in 1919 and upon arrival in the United States became the coach of the Giants until 1921 while fighting for his life. In 1923, he and Emil Fuchs (Giant’s attorney) put together a group that purchased the Boston Braves. The plan was to make Christy the owner and president of the team but eventually his health was too bad. In 1925, he finally passed away in Saranac Lake, NY at the age of 45.
Maybe Christy’s autograph is so hard to find because of the lifestyle he lived during his career in Major League Baseball. While players like Babe Ruth were seeking the spotlight and living a worldly life, Christy may have shied away from many opportunities that would have produced more opportunities for autographs. We do know that him dying at the age of 45 drastically decreased the chance of more of his autographs being put into circulation. Most seasoned collectors know how hard it is to find one of his autographs. His autograph is indeed rare but his full autograph “Christy Mathewson” is even harder to find and more sought after by advanced collectors.