Robert T. Mathews

Robert T. Mathews

Birth
Baltimore, Baltimore City, Maryland, USA
Death 17 Apr 1898 (aged 46)
Baltimore, Baltimore City, Maryland, USA
Burial Baltimore, Baltimore City, Maryland, USA
Plot Section W, lot 92, grave 2
Memorial ID 13570233 · View Source
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Major League Baseball Player. One of the true superstar ballplayers of the 19th century, his name is almost forgotten today, yet, he was a man of many firsts during his brilliant career. A Baltimore native, he set three records when he appeared in the box for the Ft. Wayne Kekiongas against the Cleveland Forest Citys on May 4, 1871. With a 2-0 win, he became the first pitcher to start, win and throw a shutout in a professional league game. (That victory came in the National Association) He later became the first first person to pitch 100 professional league games, and supposedly, was the first pitcher to ever throw an out curve and spitball, though other players laid claim to those feats. A typical iron man on the mound in the days of one and two man rotations, Mathews pitched 400 innings or better in 5 of his first 6 seasons, with a career high of 626.7 for the 1875 NY Mutuals of the National Association. The Mutuals joined the newly formed National League in 1876 and he went 21-34 that season, accounting for all his teams wins and losses except for one game. That season he also pitched a 15 inning 5-5 tie against his friend, Jim Devlin and the Louisville Grays. The 15 innings set a National League record (the game was called on account of darkness). Although he had a very good ‘out curve,' he considered his best pitch to be his ‘in curve' to a right handed hitter. Known for a simply wonderful demeanor and temperament, he was never a push over, especially when it came to money. He sued the Philadelphia Athletics of the American Association for salary that he was supposedly owed for coaching duties, which at the time was unheard of. He did the best pitching of career for those very same Athletics, winning 30 straight game three years in a row from 1883 to 1885. His 30-13 mark in 1883 led the Athletics to the AA Pennant. With his retirement, he had a lifetime record of 297-248 and a 2.98 ERA. His days after baseball were numbered as he gradually deteriorated due to the progression of 3rd stage syphilis. He died 1898 at the 46.

Bio by: Frank Russo


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Frank Russo
  • Added: 9 Mar 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 13570233
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Robert T. Mathews (21 Nov 1851–17 Apr 1898), Find A Grave Memorial no. 13570233, citing New Cathedral Cemetery, Baltimore, Baltimore City, Maryland, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .