Introducing a reader to Christy Mathewson seems like a superfluous piece of writing and a waste of white paper. Schoolboys of the last ten years have been acquainted with the exact figures which have made up Matty's pitching record before they had ever heard of George Washington, because George didn't play in the same League.
"Great Scott! Look at this!" Joe Matson, or "Baseball Joe," as he was better known throughout the country, sprang to his feet and held out a New York paper with headlines which took up a third of the page.
Willie Howarth loved baseball. He loved it all the more because he was a cripple. The game was more beautiful and wonderful to him because he would never be able to play it. For Willie had been born with one leg shorter than the other; he could not run and at 11 years of age it was all he could do to walk with a crutch. Nevertheless Willie knew more about baseball than any other boy on Madden's Hill. An uncle of his had once been a ballplayer and he had taught Willie the fine points of the game. And this uncle's ballplayer friends, who occasionally visited him, had imparted to Willie the vernacular of the game. So that Willie's knowledge of players and play, and particularly of the strange talk, the wild and whirling words on the lips of the real baseball men, made him the envy of every boy on Madden's Hill, and a mine of information.
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