33¢ Christy Mathewson
Legends of Baseball
Issue Date: July 6, 2000
City: Atlanta, GA
Printed by: Ashton-Potter (USA) Ltd
Printing Method: Lithographed
Perforations: Serpentine die cut 11.25
The Legends of Baseball issue honors 20 baseball greats who were named to the "All-Century Team," announced after the 1999 season. Votes from fans, as well as members of a special panel, selected the team.
In 1936, Christy “Matty” Mathewson became one of the first five players, and the first pitcher, elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. Mathewson’s illustrious career in the National League spanned from 1900 to 1916. He pitched all but one of his 373 victories with the New York Giants, who purchased Mathewson for $2,000.
Born in Factoryville, Pennsylvania, Mathewson (1880-1925) was the first 20th century pitcher to win 30 games a season, a feat he accomplished three years in a row. In 1905, he pitched 31 victories and topped the league with his 1.27 earned run average and eight shutouts. One of his best appearances was in the 1905 World Series, when he pitched three shutouts. He continued to dominate on the mound, and from 1903 to 1910, Mathewson’s winning percentage was .734. In 1913, he pitched 68 consecutive innings without giving up a walk, still a league record. He also led the league in strikeouts several seasons.
Mathewson possessed an impressive battery of pitches that he threw strategically. His most famous pitch was the fadeaway, today known as a screwball. With that pitch, which he could throw a dozen times a game, he made the ball break in to or away from a batter. He joined the military and went off to war in 1918.