Baseball’s First Cognoscente

In the early 20th century, baseball players were second-class citizens. My wife tells the story about her grandfather who was recruited to play for the Chicago White Sox. He sent the news via telegram to his father, who replied “Join White Sox, change name.” He would end up at the Michigan School of Mines, not Comiskey Park.

Christy Mathewson smashed that stereotype. A Hall of Fame pitcher for the New York Giants and Cincinnati Reds from 1900-1916, Mathewson was outwardly thoughtful. He penned several baseball books, a screenplay and newspaper columns. Mathewson changed the perception that baseball players were roughnecks and instead, capable, deep-thinkers. He was especially intent on proving that baseball was in fact a cerebral game, and that only the smartest players could thrive. Mathewson’s wit and charm helped frame baseball as America’s pastime. Luke Epplin tells Mathewson’s story for The New Yorker.

In Other News

Big Tuesday

Brazilian surfer Carlos Burle rode (perhaps) the largest wave ever ridden on Tuesday in Portugal and that was only the second most impressive thing he did in the water – stabmag.com

Money Tree

The California Genelogical Society and Library presented Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane with his extended family tree. Beane’s analysis of his newly discovered relatives and family lineage was typically good – mercurynews.com

Broadway Bombers

A new play about the history of the New York Yankees is coming to broadway in 2014 – hollywoodreporter.com

World Cup Runneth Over

A proposed expansion of the World Cup threatens to dilute soccer’s greatest championship – yahoo.com

The Dental Hygiene Games

It turns out many Olympic athletes have bad teeth theatlantic.com