Beacon Audiobooks Releases “This Never Happened: The Mystery Behind the Death of Christy Mathewson”


World Star PR

History tells us that baseball legends Christy Mathewson and Ty Cobb volunteered as Captains in the World War I Chemical Warfare Service. After the 1918 baseball season ended, both shipped out for France where they were exposed to poison gas during a training exercise. Mathewson got by far the worst of it, and died just a few years later, in 1925, of tuberculosis that was brought on by his exposure. History has it wrong.

The year was 1918. The country was at war, and Baseball was under pressure to support the war effort. The year before, teams had begun various activities, including players performing close-order drills, often using bats as their rifles, to demonstrate the patriotism of the National Past time.

By the summer of 1918, however, that was not enough. More men were needed for military service than were volunteering. So in June of that year. Secretary of War Newton Baker instituted a draft. But he granted an exemption to major league baseball players. It took about a month for that exemption to become politically untenable. Why, the public wondered, should these able-bodied athletes not be expected to serve like everyone else?

In July, Secretary Baker withdrew the exemption. From that point forward, players were offered the choice of taking jobs in war-related industries or joining the military. Many opted for the first of these, and of those a large number ended up being employed primarily to play in the then-extensive industrial baseball leagues. Many others joined the service.

The Army faced a particular challenge in recruiting soldiers to serve in the newly created Chemical Warfare Service. So, the commanding general of the service, William Sibert, called together the most influential Washington journalists of the day to announce his plan to enroll prominent baseball players and other athletes in the unit to serve as role models to improve recruitment.

Beacon Audiobooks has just released “This Never Happened: The Mystery Behind the Death of Christy Mathewson (The Deadball Files, Book 1)” written by author J.B. Manheim and narrated by David Cantor.

Download your copy on Audible today:

The official website for Beacon Audiobooks may be found at:

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Source World Star PR

June 13, 2024 1:09pm ET by World Star PR  

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