“In 1912, to introduce Christy Mathewson constituted a clear waste of paper; a year and a century later, one feels the situation to be quite different. ‘Baseball is memory,’ Don DeLillo has written, and yet our baseball memory tends to peter out around 1919—the year of the Black Sox scandal and the year Babe Ruth whacked an unearthly twenty-nine home runs, ushering in a glamorous era of all-or-nothing slugging. As it happens, 1919 was also the first year of the century in which Matty didn’t don a major-league uniform—which may explain why the once-iconic name of Christy Mathewson, like those of his deadball-era contemporaries, today elicits a foggy squint from many fans. The republication of this thoroughly enjoyable book, I hope, will go some way toward altering that.”
—Chad Harbach, in his foreword to our new Penguin Classic edition of Pitching in a Pinch: Baseball from the Inside, the immortal Christy Mathewson’s indispensable book of witty and influential baseball insights, stories, and wisdom.
Above are just a few of the players Matty dishes on in Pitching. From top left is Mathewson himself; Giants manager John “Muggsy” McGraw, Ty “The Georgia Peach” Cobb; John “Chief” Myers; Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown; Honus “The Flying Dutchman” Wagner; Fred “Bonehead” Merkle; and Johnny “The Human Crab” Evers.