History tells us that early God of the Game Christy Mathewson, a volunteer in the Chemical Warfare Service during World War I, was exposed to poison gas in a training accident in France that led to his premature death.
But accounts from some close to Mathewson and other evidence—some recently discovered—cast doubt on this story. And the question is raised: If the poison gas incident is merely a myth, what really happened? What uncomfortable truths might lie behind the official history, now thoroughly entrenched in baseball lore? What secrets—perhaps involving the institution of baseball itself—are being protected?
The novel THIS NEVER HAPPENED jumps off from authentic recently discovered documents about a WWI army unit that included all-time baseball greats Mathewson, Honus Wagner, “Big Ed” Walsh, the fiery Ty Cobb, and others. In a seamless blending of fact and fiction, author and political scientist JB Manheim imagines answers to the mystery behind Christy Mathewson’s death. It’s a multigenerational story filled with intrigue, adventure, and a shocking event that triggers a cover-up, one that continues to this day.
Although THIS NEVER HAPPENED is a fictional tale, certain facts woven through the drama are beyond dispute, leaving readers to wonder—if this never happened, what did?
Fact and fiction are interwoven into a multigenerational story of million-dollar memorabilia, superstars from baseball's early days, and a colossal cover-up perpetrated by the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Some History, and a Conundrum
On Deck, and In the Hole
Seventh Inning Stretch
Bottom of the Ninth
Postscript: Notes on Real Persons, Places, and Things
List of Sources Consulted