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MLB Player Christy Mathewson Was a Christian Role Model

Filmmaker Ken Burns won an Emmy for his nine-part PBS documentary Baseball. In the second episode set in the year 1900, the New York Giants traded for a 19-year-old rookie named Christy Mathewson. He became a two-time World Series champion and still ranks top ten all-time in wins, shutouts, and earned run average. He was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936.

The narrator refers to the Giants manager:

John McGraw may have championed the old brawling brand of baseball, but his greatest star was Christy Mathewson, a pitcher with a record for clean play so spotless that his wife once felt that she had to defend him, by saying that while he was a good man, he was no goodie goodie.

A writer then speaks to the camera: “He was so virtuous he would not give interviews to sportswriters who he heard cheated on their wives.

At a time when many professional players were gamblers and brawlers, Mathewson stood in contrast. The narrator says: “He was the perfect hero for his age. Sportswriters and fans across the country called him ‘The Christian Gentleman.’ No one did more to improve the reputation of the baseball player.”

Philadelphia Athletics manager Connie Mack said, “He set a high moral code. He was (praised) by churches, ministers used his career as sermon topics, and he gave dignity and character to baseball.”

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