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Pitching in a Pinch

Christy Mathewson

Book Overview: 

In this book Mathewson is telling the reader of the game as it is played in the Big Leagues.... It’s as good as his pitching and some exciting things have happened in the Big Leagues, stories that never found their way into the newspapers. Matty has told them. This is a true tale of Big Leaguers, their habits and their methods of playing the game, written by one of them.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .s opponents are doing everything they can to disconcert him.

Managers wait for this break, and the shrewd league leader can often time it. Frequently a certain style of play is adopted to lead up to the pinch, then suddenly a slovenly mode of attack is changed, and the team comes on with a rush in an effort to break up the game. That is the real test of a pitcher. He must be able to live through these squalls.

Two evenly matched clubs have been playing through six innings with neither team gaining any advantage. Let us say that they are the Giants and the Chicago Cubs. Suddenly the Chicago pitcher begins to weaken in the seventh. Spectators cannot perceive this, but McGraw, the Giants’ manager, has detected some crack. All has been quiet on the bench up to this moment. Now the men begin to fling about sweaters and move around, one going to the water cooler to get a drink, another picking up a bat or two and flinging them in the air, while four or f. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Loved this book. Mathewson's erudite descriptions of early 20th Century baseball are fascinating and insightful. His musings really bring to light how the game we watch today came to be.

Also, the chapter that describes Pittsburgh as the fancy town full of rich society people, with all its industr...more

' "Larry" Doyle thought that he had received the raw end of a decision at second base one day. He ran down to first, where Klem had retreated after he passed his judgment.
"Say, 'Bill,'" exploded "Larry," "that man didn't touch the bag - didn't come within six feet of it."
"Say, Doyle," replied Kle...more

Another book you'll want on your shelf if you're a fan of the Deadball era.

Also something you might want to read over if you are a sim player (Strat, APBA, Replay, Diamond Mind, etc.) who is playing a season from the first decade of the 20th century.

This happens to be the 100th anniversary of thi...more

Pitching in a Pinch is one of the original baseball books written by one of the premier pitchers of the early 20th century. McGraw was an outstanding manager for the Giants and was a genuine creator of the "small ball" style of play. Throughout, Mathewson details a reader with strategies for doub...more

The great Christy Mathewson’s 1912 book “Pitching in a Pinch” is first and foremost an insight into the psychology and technique of professional baseball rather than a typical autobiography. However, these chapters penned by Matty help the modern reader greatly in understanding the realm of the D...more

Mostly interesting from a historical perspective.

Ugg two choppy books at once. The inside information was 100 years old, a good read but not the best an not a true biography like I was thinking when I ordered this one.

The author was a very successful pitcher at the time this book was written, and unlike most autobiographies today, was also a decent writer. Chapters of this book read like newspaper columns (which some of them may have been), expounding on the pitchers views of managers, hitters, fielders, pitch...more

This is a fascinating look at baseball from the inside, in the early days of the major leagues and the first two decades of the twentieth century (ghost-)written by one of the great stars of the game. Mathewson, one of baseball's most magnificent pitchers and an intelligent and erudite man, allow...more

Mathewson, the great right-handed pitcher of the New York Giants at the start of the 20th century, was one of the first inductees in the baseball Hall of Fame (along with Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner and Walter Johnson). He pitched for 16 years in the big leagues, won 373 games (185 more than...more

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