June 19, 2013
If Christy Mathewson wasn't the perfect ballplaying role-model, it's hard to know where he came up short. Matty came to the major leagues in 1900, but only after attending Bucknell, one of the game's first college-educated stars. In an era of hard drinkers and hard cussers, he did neither. He refused to pitch on Sundays: It was against his religious scruples, and anyway, he'd promised his ma he wouldn't do it. His matinee idol looks, only accented by the boyish shock of hair that fell casually across his forehead, brought women to the games he pitched. When war came to the world, Christy Mathewson joined up. He was gassed, contracted tuberculosis as a result, and died at the too-young age of 45.
All of that wouldn't have counted for much unless Matty could pitch: He could. He won 30 games four different seasons, 20 more more 13 times including 12 in succession, and 372 games overall. And in 1905, after leading the New York Giants to their first World Series appearance with one of his 30-victory seasons, Matty appropriated the Series as his personal showpiece in a way that no player has since done.
In the first game against Philadelphia that year, Mathewson pitched a four-hit shutout and walked nobody, winning 3-0. Three days later, he recorded another four-hit shutout, walking one and winning 9-0. Two days later, Matty allowed just six hits and no walks, recording his third shutout, this time by a 2-0 count as the Giants became world champs. In three games against Mathewson, the A's advanced a total of one runner to third base.
The New York Highlanders, in an effort to make amends for not having issued rain checks the previous day, open their gates to a crowd of 30,000 fans on April 22.
Joe Tinker and Johnny Evers brawl over Evers' tyaking a taxi to an exhibition game. Although the most famous double play combination in the game, Tinker and Evers do not speak to each other for years.
Theodore Roosevelt mediates an end to the Russo-Japanese war, an achievement for which he will win the Nobel Peace Prize.