This stunning 1949 Packard is linked to one of baseball’s greatest pitchers

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Former Major League Baseball star Christy Mathewson died nearly 90 years ago, so he’s hardly a household name these days—particularly when the subject is cars. A gorgeous automobile has put him back into the spotlight, however, despite the fact that Mathewson never owned (nor even saw) the vehicle before his untimely death.

One of the most revered and respected pitchers in baseball history, Mathewson amassed 373 career victories (against 188 losses) in 17 seasons in the early 1900s, ranking him third all time. He pitched two no-hitters and won two World Series championships with the New York Giants (1905, 1921) before retiring, then went on to become a respected newspaper columnist.

Mathewson’s life was cut short, however, when he contracted tuberculosis and died of the disease on October 7, 1925. He was only 45.

‘Matty” was one of the first five players inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939, joining Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, and Walter Johnson He was the only one who didn’t live long enough to accept the honor.

Christy Mathewson and wife Jane
A photograph of Christy Mathewson and his wife, Jane. According to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, the photograph was likely taken around 1916. National Baseball Hall of Fame

Ten years after that inaugural ceremony, Packard presented a stunning 1949 Packard Eight Deluxe Club Sedan to Mathewson’s widow, Jane Stoughton Mathewson, in honor of her husband’s athletic achievements. Mrs. Mathewson owned the car until her death, at the age of 87, on May 29, 1967. It has had three owners since.

Fifty-three years later, on May 2, 2020, the Packard sold for $20,000 on eBay. A similar Club Deluxe Sedan in #1 (Concours) condition carries an average value of $26,700, while one in #2 (Excellent) condition is valued at $14,300.

Packard built only 3375 Eight Deluxe Club Sedans in ’49, and this one is special beyond its connection to Mathewson. It is completely dealer accessorized and has been restored from top to bottom, inside and out. It is finished in Coronet Blue Metallic, has Libbey-Owens-Ford (LOF) Safety Plate glass, and is equipped with a heater/defroster.

Under the hood is a 288-cubic-inch straight-eight that generates 135 horsepower. It is mated to a three-speed manual transmission with overdrive.

The Deluxe Custom Sedan also possesses the following factory options and dealer accessories:

  • Goddess of Speed hood ornament
  • Dual amber fog lights
  • Door-mounted rear view mirrors
  • Rare window-mounted vent shade set
  • Rear fender skirts-Hubcap medallions
  • Stainless wheel trim rings
  • Dual clear back-up lights
  • Luggage compartment trunk light
  • Exhaust pipe extension tip
  • Non-glare amber, tilt rear-view mirror
  • Push button AM tube radio
  • Deluxe ivory steering wheel
  • Courtesy lights
  • Turn signals
  • Cigar lighter and ashtrays
  • Trip odometer-Clock
  • Oil filter canister
  • Oil bath air cleaner

Feeling like you missed out on something very special? Us too.

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