Publish date:
Updated on

Christy Matthewson throws second no-hitter

On June 13, 1905, pitcher Christy Matthewson of the New York Giants throws the second no-hitter of his career to lead his Giants to a 1-0 win over the powerful Chicago Cubs.

Matthewson, known simply as “Matty” to his adoring fans, enjoyed a successful athletic career at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, where he was a star in both baseball and football. He joined the Giants in 1901, and for a year was a promising pitcher on a losing club. In the middle of the 1902 season, though, that changed with the hiring of the great strategist and player-manager John McGraw, who had made his name with the 1890s Baltimore Orioles. McGraw was recruited to manage the new Orioles of the upstart American League (AL) in 1901, but left over differences with AL founder Ban Johnson. Upon joining the Giants, McGraw immediately put the team on the road to success by accepting nothing less than total effort and making use of the aggressive style on the bases that had earlier won him fame. McGraw managed the Giants from 1902 to 1932, during which time the team won 10 pennants, five of which came between 1902 and 1916 with Matty on the mound.

A tee-totaling gentleman, Matthewson was admired for his skill and clean image and soon became the most popular athlete in the country. John McGraw was the opposite, a profane, contentious man willing to fight over any perceived slight. In spite of their contrasting personalities, the two men and their wives were the best of friends off the field. McGraw and Matthewson led the previously moribund Giants to an 84-55 record in 1903, 6.5 games behind the pennant-winning Pittsburgh Pirates. The next year, the Giants won the National League and Matthewson, who went 33-12, led the league in strikeouts for the second year in a row. Unfortunately, Matthewson didn’t get a chance that year to prove his mettle in the World Series because McGraw, known as “the little Napoleon,” was still angry with Ban Johnson of the American League and refused to let his team play. The players grudgingly forfeited their bonus checks and the second World Series was cancelled.

In 1905, the best year of his career, Matthewson won 31 games to just nine lost and ended the year with an earned run average of just 1.28, more than a run and a half lower than the league average. On this day, he threw the second no-hitter of his career to lead his team to their second consecutive National League pennant over the powerful Cubs. Two Cubs reached second base, both due to errors, or Matthewson’s no-hit, no-walk performance would have been a perfect game. He held on until his Giants scored their lone run in the ninth for a 1-0 win.

In the 1905 World Series, the Giants beat Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics behind Matty’s three complete game shutouts in six days. It was the only World Series victory for Matthewson, who played on three more NL pennant winners, but lost the 1911, 1912 and 1913 World Series in spite of his brilliant pitching.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!


Pioneer 10 departs solar system

After more than a decade in space, Pioneer 10, the world’s first outer-planetary probe, leaves the solar system. The next day, it radioed back its first scientific data on interstellar space. On March 2, 1972, the NASA spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, on a more

Peasant army marches into London

During the Peasants’ Revolt, a large mob of English peasants led by Wat Tyler marches into London and begins burning and looting the city. Several government buildings were destroyed, prisoners were released, and a judge was beheaded along with several dozen other leading more

Tutu meets with Botha

Bishop Desmond Tutu, winner of the 1984 Nobel Prize for Peace, meets with South African President P.W. Botha to discuss the nationwide state of emergency declared by Botha in response to the anti-apartheid protests. “This is not likely to help restore law and order and peace and more

Alexander the Great dies

Alexander the Great, the young Macedonian military genius who forged an empire stretching from the eastern Mediterranean to India, dies in Babylon, in present-day Iraq, at the age of 33. Born in Macedonia to King Phillip II and Queen Olympias, Alexander received a classical more

The Miranda rights are established

On this day in 1966, the Supreme Court hands down its decision in Miranda v. Arizona, establishing the principle that all criminal suspects must be advised of their rights before interrogation. Now considered standard police procedure, “You have the right to remain silent. more

Hurricane Agnes is born

On this day in 1972, severe weather conditions over the Yucatan peninsula in Mexico begin to converge and form a tropical depression that would become Hurricane Agnes over the next two weeks. By the time the storm dissipated, damages were in the billions and 121 people were more

Jurors begin deliberations in Susan Polk trial

On June 13, 2006, jurors began deliberations in the trial of Susan Polk, 48, for the October 2002 murder of her psychotherapist husband Felix Polk, 70, in a poolside cottage at the couple’s Orinda, California, home. Felix was stabbed and cut 27 times and had suffered blunt force more

Grant swings toward Petersburg

On this day, the bulk of the Army of the Potomac begins moving towards Petersburg, Virginia, precipitating a siege that lasted for more than nine months. From early May, the Union army hounded Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia as it tried to destroy the Confederates in more