Exceptional and Scarce 1911 Christy Mathewson Autographed Photograph by Frank W. Smith (PSA/DNA 9 MT)(Period Rotogravure Photomatch)(NL Championship Team)(Finest Known Example)
Exceptional and Scarce 1911 Christy Mathewson Autographed Photograph by Frank W. Smith (PSA/DNA 9 MT)(Period Rotogravure Photomatch)(NL Championship Team)(Finest Known Example)
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Exceptional and Scarce 1911 Christy Mathewson Autographed Photograph by Frank W. Smith (PSA/DNA 9 MT)(Period Rotogravure Photomatch)(NL Championship Team)(Finest Known Example)

Details
Exceptional and Scarce 1911 Christy Mathewson Autographed Photograph by Frank W. Smith (PSA/DNA 9 MT)(Period Rotogravure Photomatch)(NL Championship Team)(Finest Known Example)
Provenance
Frank W. Smith Photographic Archive

Brought to you by

Elizabeth Seigel
Elizabeth Seigel Vice President, Specialist

Lot Essay

Original 5"x8" sepia tone image in a matte finish by Frank W. Smith who was a noted photographer for the Cleveland Plain Dealer during the early part of the 20th century. The image pictures Mathewson wearing Giants uniform in full pitching pose in front of the dugout with fans in the background. Photo is signed across the front in black fountain pen, "Yours Truly Christy Mathewson" rating 9 out of 10. Small number "7" (crossed out) and "8" in pencil on right margin with few small black paper residue spots on back.
Christopher Mathewson began his career in the humble blue collar town of Factoryville, PA. His athletic success continued as he attended Bucknell University where he played baseball, football and basketball, in addition to serving as class president. It would not take long for Matty's path to the Major Leagues to blossom, as he earned a 20-2 record with the Norfolk Minor League club in 1900. Mathewson would then play for the New York Giants from 1900-1916, compiling a National League record of 373 career victories.
In an era when ballplayers were known as hard-living, hard-drinking rogues, the college-educated, fair-haired and handsome Mathewson was the idol of millions. His articulate, dignified persona contrasted a fierce competitiveness on the mound that made him, arguably, the most dominant pitcher of his time. Tragically, while serving his country during World War I in 1918 he was exposed to poison gas and subsequently developed tuberculosis as a result of the damage to his lungs. "Big Six" passed away in 1925 at the age of 45 at Saranac Lake in New York, leaving the baseball world devoid of one of its greatest icons. Appropriately, Christy Mathewson was named as an original inductee to the newly formed National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1936. As a result of his early passing and the era in which Matty played, there are exceedingly few examples of autographed photographs, particularly in uniform, known to exist. Additionally the unimpeachable photomatch to the aforementioned rotogravure places this exemplar soundly top all other known copies. Amazing rarity presenting in elite high condition grade. Includes printed 8"x10" image of the New York Giants rotogravure by Frank Smith, full LOA from JSA, and has been encapsulated by PSA/DNA (8 NM-MT): Photo: EX-MT, Signature: MT
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