(1880 - 1925)
One of the five players inaugurated into the Baseball Hall of Fame when it opened its doors in 1936, Christy Mathewson was a dominant pitcher for the New York Giants and the sport’s first national superstar. He won at least twenty-two games for twelve straight years, from 1903 to 1914, before finishing his career with the Cincinnati Reds. In 1918, along with Ty Cobb, Mathewson joined the American Expeditionary Force, only to contract tuberculosis after being gassed during a chemical training exercise. A devout Christian, he died in his home in Saranac Lake, New York, in 1925, on October 7, the day that year’s World Series began.