2009 Topps Update "Legends of the Game Updates" #LGU-3 Christy Mathewson (Reds)
This is one of my favorite cards of the past few years.
Christy Mathewson collected 372 of his 373 career wins as a New York Giant. He posted 2504 of his 2507 career strikeouts as a Giant. He pitched 434 of his 435 career complete games with the Giants.
"Matty" pitched in 635 games with the New York Giants from 1900 to 1916.
He pitched in one game as a Cincinnati Red, on Labor Day in 1916.
Interestingly, Mathewson was in the Reds organization at one other point in his career. The Giants purchased him from the minor leagues in 1900, but the Reds plucked him from the Giants in the Rule 5 draft that year. (I find it fascinating that the Rule 5 draft has been around for that long.)
The Reds quickly dealt Mathewson back to the Giants for Amos Rusie, "The Hoosier Thunderbolt". Rusie would pitch in just three games as a Red.
We all know what Mathewson ended up doing as a Giant.
Mathewson was traded to the Reds late in the 1916 season, where he would manage for the next three seasons. In a specially contrived matchup, Mathewson pitched against another aging future-HOFer, Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown.
"Matty" didn't pitch well, giving up eight runs in nine innings. However, the Reds won 10-8, and he got his 373rd and final career victory.
I really liked the '09 Topps "Legends of the Game" inserts before the Updates were released. But the Updates catapulted the entire set into a whole other level.
As you probably know, I love cards of guys in unfamiliar uniforms. (Hence, these "Short Term Stops" posts.)
I love HOFers in unfamiliar uniforms even more. The "LOG Updates" featured greats such as Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, and Ty Cobb in less-than-familiar jerseys. Wagner as a Louisville Colonel, Ruth as Boston Brave, and Cobb as a Philadelphia Athletic.
If Topps is going to keep featuring the same Hall of Famers in each set, I beg them to at least change up the uniforms a bit, as they did in 2009.
It would make things a whole lot more interesting.