There was a chill in the air. That much we know.
Christy Mathewson is bundled up against what is likely the chill of an October World Series game in 1911 in a rare photograph now up for auction.
Originating in the studio of George Grantham Bain, the image measures 3 1/2″ x 4 3/4″ and shows the legendary New York Giants pitcher having a laugh about something. Never offered publicly before, the photo seems to date to the World Series because of the all-black uniform he looks to be donning underneath that heavy coat. A crowd of fans has assembled in the left field bleachers behind him. It’s among the premier items in RMY Auctions’ current catalog.
There was plenty to smile about. Mathewson had won 26 games, leading the Giants back to the World Series for the first time since ’05. His regular season ERA was 1.99 and while it wasn’t a topic of discussion back then, his WHIP was a preposterous 0.83. In Game 1 of the Series, Mathewson set a record by reaching 28 shutout innings in World Series play, a mark that would be broken by Babe Ruth seven years later.
The Series didn’t pan out as he’d hoped, though. After winning Game 1, Mathewson came back in Game 3 and served up a game-tying homer to Frank Baker, who had hit the game-winning two-run blast off Rube Marquard the day before. Baker would earn his moniker “Home Run” for his contributions to the Athletics’ cause.
After Game 3, rain settled into the eastern part of the country and the teams sat idle for six days. It was enough time for the Giants’ ace to make a third appearance but again he was beaten as Chief Bender got the better of Mathewson and the A’s went on to take the Series in six games.
The auction includes hundreds of vintage sports, news and entertainment photos and is set to run through May 11 at RMYAuctions.com.