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Home Blog Blog: A Very Rare Autograph: Why are Christy Mathewson Autographs so Hard to Find?

Why are Christy Mathewson Autographs so Hard to Find?

There are many different memorabilia items that are hard to find when you collect vintage baseball
items, especially autographs. There is, however, one particular autograph missing from the collection of
most collectors and especially those that have focused on collecting autographs from members of the
Hall of Fame – Christy Mathewson.

Even though Mathewson went on to have an illustrious career as a starting pitcher and set many records
over the years before being inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1936, but the most interesting thing about
him in my opinion is the fact that he was a huge proponent of clean living. That is something which was
incredibly rare during the era in which he played as many players had different vices, but he somehow
found the strength to avoid all of it and became a great role model to children and people everywhere
respected him for that choice.

Matty, The Christian Gentleman: The signature missing from most HOF collections

One of the main reasons why a piece of memorabilia featuring the signature of Christy Mathewson is so rare is
thought to be a result of his death at an early age. He passed away from tuberculosis on October 7, 1925
at the age of 45. But it makes you wonder just how often he signed anything for anyone considering he
played baseball for 17 years and was widely considered to be one of the most dominant pitchers in the
National League during his career.

Christy Mathewson World Tour

Mathewson pictured here from the World Tour, c.1913.

Even though he died young and it stands to reason he wasn’t one to autograph a large number of items for
people to begin with, his having no close family left after his death is also a contributing factor that
nothing of his has really stood the test of time. He was one of four sons and he was the only one to live
past the age of 30.

It has been estimated that there are less than 100 signed photographs of Mathewson in existence and
single signed baseballs are rarer than that. A single signed baseball has been auctioned off in the past for
$161,000 dollars and pre-printed checks with his signature are also an item that has become popular for
collectors to make an effort to find. Consider yourself very fortunate if you own a Christy Mathewson autograph.

Do you have a Christy Mathewson autograph or piece of his memorabilia? If so, please contact us today!


Career Highlights and Awards of “The Christian Gentleman”

World Series champion (1905)

373 career wins (3rd all-time)

2.13 career ERA (8th all-time)

1.058 career WHIP (5th all time)

.665 career Win-Loss percentage

Won 20 games or more 13 times, won 30 games or more 4 times.

Pitched 79 shutouts (3rd all time)

Five sub-2.00 ERA seasons

435 complete games out of 552 games started

Won NL Pitcher’s Triple Crown in 1905 and 1908

Five-time ERA champion (1905, 1908, 1909, 1911, 1913)

Five-time strikeout champion (1903, 1904, 1905, 1907, 1908)

Pitched two no-hitters


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