Christy Mathewson (1880–1925) was the greatest baseball pitcher of his day, a hero with appeal reaching beyond sports. A college-educated player from Pennsylvania farm country, he restored respectability to a game tarnished by the rowdies who had dominated baseball in the 1890s.Pitching in a Pinch, originally published in 1912, is an insider’s account blending anecdote, biography, instruction, and social history. It celebrates baseball as it was played in the first decade of the twentieth century by famous contemporaries like Honus Wagner and Rube Marquand, managers like John McGraw and Connie Mack, and many others. Always sensitive to psychology as well as technique, Mathewson describes the “dangerous batters” he faced, the “peculiarities” of big-league pitchers, the “good and bad” of coaching, umpiring, sign-stealing, base-running, spring training, and the importance of superstition to athletes. Matty, as he was called, makes the reader feel that tense moment when a player in a pinch must use his head.
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