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Christy Mathewson

  • Series: 1919 Black Sox Scandal
  • Hall: National Baseball Hall of Fame

Christopher Mathewson (1880-1925) was the consummate right hander of the early 20th Century. His “fadeaway” pitch baffled NL hitters from 1900-16. Mathewson won 22+ 12 straight years, 30+ 4x, and holds the modern NL record with his 37 wins in 1908. He hurled 3 shut-outs in 6 days to gain his sole world championship in 1905.

  • One of the “first five” into Cooperstown
  • Accomplished all this while honoring his Christian faith by not pitching on Sundays
  • This Pilgrims card duplicates and preserves the uncorrected spelling error on Mathewson's original T201 Mecca card
  • Elected to Hall of Fame: 1936

Fred McMullin

Third Base
  • Series: 1919 Black Sox Scandal
  • City: Chicago
  • Team: White Sox
  • League: American League

Fred Drury McMullin (1891-1952) has been called the “forgotten man” of the Black Sox. Writing for SABR, Jacob Pomrenke called McMullin the "Eighth Man Out, the most obscure of the White Sox players who agreed to throw the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds."

As a nondescript utility man with little promise to impact the series, Fred would certainly seem to be the unlikeliest member of that talented team to be pursued and paid off by gamblers. Some have suggested that, as the team’s scout, Fred may have contributed to the scheme by providing misleading information to his teammates about Reds hitters and pitchers. Or perhaps, as it is most commonly suggested, McMullin implicated himself in the scandal when he allegedly overheard talk of throwing the Series and insisted on his inclusion in the conspiracy. And yet Ed Cicotte testified that "the idea of the fix had originated in a conversation with Gandil and McMullin." Like so many mysteries that will forever envelope the 1919 Black Sox, the truth of how and why Fred McMullin was involved in the scandal may never be known.

McMullin had come out of West Coast ball where he impressed the Tigers enough to give him an audition at the end of the 1914 season. Fred languished on the bench, watching the likes of Cobb and Crawford before getting his only appearance that year in Fenway, mopping up a Red Sox laugher and striking out in his only at-bat. Returning to California allowed Fred to build his resume and the White Sox signed him for the ‘16 campaign. Again, he joined a stacked team with little chance of breaking into the lineup. In 1917, McMullin got into late-season games and did well; especially helping with his defense in the Series against the Giants, which the Sox won. Fred used his $3,600 bonus to buy a small house.

Following the war-shortened ‘18 season, the White Sox were again a dominant force in 1919. Owners feared the year would be a loss in the war’s aftermath and scheduled another truncated schedule which included smaller player paychecks. In the lead-up to the postseason, Chick Gandil seems to have led the conspiracy that would ensnare Fred and six more teammates.

  • McMullin stayed mum the rest of his life concerning the fix
  • Unlike his teammates, Fred didn’t try to barnstorm, but he did play some semi-pro ball in LA - until Irish Meusel was fined $100 by the Phillies for playing against him
  • McMullin ended his working life in law enforcement, as a court marshal in Los Angeles, and died on the job from a stroke

Dick McBride

  • Series: Athletic of Philadelphia: 1874
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Athletics (NAPBBP)
  • League: National Association (NAPBBP)

John Dickson McBride (1847-1916) was the captain and workhorse moundsman of the Philadelphia Athletics during the team’s five years in the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players (NAPBBP), from 1871-75. Despite piloting the Athletics to a 161-84 (.657) record over 5 years in which he won 149 of those games as a pitcher, McBride suffered the indignity of being ousted as captain (manager) with a mere eight days remaining in the '75 season. Some of the humiliation should have been assuaged by the fact that ownership decided to replace him with a young Adrian Anson - a man who would become perhaps the most formidable and accomplished player of the 19th century.

It would be difficult to overstate McBride's impact with the Athletics. In 1871, Dick led the NA in winning percentage, going 18-5, and leading the team to the circuit’s first pennant, thus winning professional baseball's first league championship. In ‘74 Dick led the NA in ERA at 1.64. Second in career National Association wins only to Albert Spalding, McBride was 149-74 for Philadelphia overall and was putting the finishing touches on an astounding 44-14 season when he was replaced by Anson. (The team's record was 49-18-2 (.731) under McBride. Anson would pilot the team to a 4-2-2 record over the last eight games of the season and the NA would fold shortly thereafter, giving way to the nascent National League in 1876.) 

McBride was a Civil War vet and former cricket star who developed into one of the era's best pitchers. No less than Henry Chadwick said of him: “what Dick doesn’t know about the tricks and dodges of strategic pitching isn’t worth knowing.” Years later, former teammate and famous scribe Tim Murnane asserted that Dick was “the first to master the ‘raise ball.’”

  • Was apparently renowned as a baseball player as early as 1864, when he was allowed to take a 3-day furlough from his Civil War service to participate in a baseball exhibition
  • Completed 224 of the 233 games he started for the Athletics and never once made a relief appearance
  • Signed in ‘76 with Boston in the new NL, but didn’t win a game in four outings and retired
  • McBride's "most similar" player according to baseballreference is Candy Cummings

Auction History

Tim Murnane

  • Series: Athletic of Philadelphia: 1874
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Athletics (NAPBBP)
  • League: National Association (NAPBBP)
  • Hall: J.G. Taylor Spink Award Recipient

Timothy Hayes Murnane (1851-1917) vaulted from a career in the early days of the game to become the noted baseball writer for the Boston Globe for three decades. As a player, Murnane had occasional success, but remained less than full time. He did place fifth in the National Association in 1872 with a .359 average for the Middletown (CT) Mansfields. He was in Philadelphia with the Athletics and White Stockings for the final years of pre-modern baseball in the NA before joining the Boston Red Caps (Beaneaters) in the inaugural season of the National League, 1876, and won a pennant the following year. Murnane’s incisive grasp of the game would manifest in a varied career as field manager, executive, owner and minor league president over the ensuing decades. But it was with the pen rather than the bat that Murnane made his greatest mark. In 1946, the Hall of Fame established the Honor Rolls of Baseball to recognize non-player contributions and Murnane was among a dozen scribes enrolled. Murnane was the 1978 recipient of  the J.G. Taylor Spink Award commemorating outstanding achievement by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

  • In his eight-year career as player, Murnane averaged .261. His final season was as player/manager for the Union Association’s Boston Reds as they tried vainly to challenge the NL
  • Recipient of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award: 1978

Auction History

John McMullin

  • Series: Athletic of Philadelphia: 1874
  • City: Philadelphia
  • Team: Athletics (NAPBBP)
  • League: National Association (NAPBBP)

John F. McMullin (1849-1881) began amateur ball with his hometown Keystones of Philadelphia in 1867 as an outfielder. He moved to the Buckeye of Cincinnati in ‘68 and the Haymakers of Troy in ‘70, with whom he joined the first openly professional league in 1871. He pitched for Troy his first season when the only other southpaw hurler in the NABBP was Charlie Pabor of the Union of Morrisania (who is more renowned for his nickname, The Old Woman in the Red Cap, than for his mound prowess). McMullin also pitched some for the National Association's Troy entry in ‘71, and is the only known lefty to pitch regularly that year. He served as an emergency pitcher in two games across the 1872 and ‘73 campaigns, but played primarily in the outfield the rest of his career. He always had respectable years at the plate, including his final season with the Philadelphia White Stockings in 1875 where he hit .257. His best year had been with the Athletics in 1874, leading the team with 90 hits and a .346 average.

After being a pioneering member of baseball's first two organized leagues and playing nearly all of his teams' games in the five year history of the National Association, McMullin never played a single game in the National League that replaced it. It is not known why McMullin’s tenure in baseball ended so abruptly on the eve of the modern major leagues and he would die a few short years later at age 32 in his native Philadelphia.

  • In 1877, McMullin appeared as one of three managers of a Philadelphia entry in the League Alliance, a loose consortium of teams in the Northeast that formed as a response to the new NL
  • Like teammate Mike McGeary, McMullen [sic] appears on an 1871 Burr Pennfield Troy Haymaker Scorecard. Inspired by and rarer than the Mort Rogers' Scorecards, such "photographic picture cards" were important precursors to the modern baseball card

Auction History