in the Garden of Eden
Secret History of the Early Game
The Bucknell College star was portrayed in the press as “The Christian Gentleman,” in hope of counteracting the violent reputation of many star players of the 1890s. Matty was a great pitcher without doubt, but he was hardly a plaster saint. Famed for his fadeaway, a screwball that broke in to right-handed batters, he threw three shutouts in the 1905 World Series to become the new face of baseball. This 1910 portrait by Paul Thompson was mirrored in the baseball cards distributed with cigarettes in the ensuing years.