Baseball History: Christy Mathewson and Three-Finger Brown

Christy Mathewson

Christy Mathewson

There should be a lot anticipation when a pair of National Baseball Hall of Fame members are the starting pitchers for both teams, but sometimes it just doesn’t meet the expectations.

In the second game of a doubleheader on Sept. 4, 1916, two legends took the mound in what turned out to be the final game of their illustrious careers and it’s ironic that they ended on such a sour note.

The Cincinnati Reds beat the Chicago Cubs 10-8 as Christy Mathewson and Mordecai Brown both tossed complete games, but left a lot to be desired statistically. Mathewson was 4-4 after winning the contest despite giving up eight runs on 15 hits with three strikeouts. Brown fell to 2-3 as he surrendered 10 runs on 19 hits, while fanning only two.

Mordecai

“Three Finger” Brown

It was the only appearance on the mound for Mathewson with Cincinnati after a mid-season trade allowed him to become the manager for the Reds. The Reds also acquired two other Hall of Fame members in the deal in July when they picked up Edd Roush and Bill McKechnie from the Giants. The Reds sent Buck Herzog and Red Killefer to the Giants.

Mathewson won 373 games in his career and was a member of the first induction class of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936. He won over 30 games in four different seasons, while winning at least 20 contests in nine other years. He also threw three complete game shutouts in the 1905 World Series against the Philadelphia A’s.

Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown led the Cubs to a pair of world championships in 1907 and 1908. Brown had a career-high 29 victories in 1908 and won 239 overall and had a 2.06 ERA. A six-time 20-game winner for the Cubs, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1949.

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