On September 4, 1916, Wrigley Field hosted a match-up for the ages as Hall-of-Famers Christy Mathewson and Mordecai “Three-Finger” Brown hooked up on the mound.
The duel was the brainchild of Cubs owner Charlie Weeghman, a pre-Bill Veeck Bill Veeck who was not afraid to look for ways to entice fans to visit his three-year-old ballpark.
The 36-year-old Mathewson was pitching for the Reds by this time as a player-manager and both teams were out of contention. It was the 23rd time the two hurlers had faced each other (in 1905 Mathewson no-hit the Cubs at the West Side Grounds and beat Brown 1-0). The baseball itself was nothing special with the Reds getting a 10-8 win, but it was a special good-bye. Brown had left the Cubs to pitch in the Federal League and returned to play for manager Joe Tinker with the Cubs in 1916. He allowed 19 hits in the loss. Brown was 39 years old and would be out of baseball after the season.