Christy Mathewson joins Giants, 115 years ago today

Christy Mathewson
Christy Mathewson
Two-time no-no thrower and eventual Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson became a member of the New York Giants, 115 years ago today.

On December 15, 1900, the Cincinnati Reds dealt Mathewson to the Giants for Amos Rusie, an eight-time 20-game winner who hadn’t played ball since the 1898 season. The two pitchers were responsible for the first three no-hitters in Giants’ history:

1 Amos Rusie
  New York Giants (NL)
  Friday, July 31, 1891
New York Giants 6, Brooklyn Grooms 0
Polo Grounds (New York)
2 Christy Mathewson
  New York Giants (NL)
  Monday, July 15, 1901
New York Giants 5, St. Louis Cardinals 0
Robison Field (St. Louis)
(His first of two no-hitters)
3 Christy Mathewson
  New York Giants (NL)
  Tuesday, June 13, 1905
New York Giants 1, Chicago Cubs 0
West Side Park (Chicago)
(His second of two no-hitters)

Rusie appeared in just three games for the Reds, yielding 21 earned runs in 22 innings before retiring.

Oddly, Mathewson’s playing career also ended in Cincinnati. On July 20, 1916, the Reds named Mathewson their new player-manager, sending Buck Herzog and Red Killefer to the Giants in exchange for Mathewson, Bill McKechnie and Edd Roush.

Mathewson took the mound just once in a Reds uniform. During the nightcap of a September 4, 1916, doubleheader against the Cubs on “Mordecai Brown Day” at Weeghman Park, Mathewson faced the 40-year-old Brown, another future Hall of Famer, and eked out a 10-8 win. Mathewson gave up eight earned runs on 15 hits for his 373rd career victory.

(Feature image courtesy of the Ernie Harwell Sports Collection, Detroit Public Library)