A Baseball Life: Nelson Mathews - Republic-Times | News

A Baseball Life: Nelson Mathews

By on March 13, 2019 at 3:08 pm
Pictured is an autographed Nelson Mathews Topps 1965 baseball card.

Now more than 50 years since he last played professional baseball, former major leaguer Nelson Mathews of Columbia looks back fondly on his career and the competitive drive that got him there.

There were plenty of peaks and valleys along the way for this “dead end kid” who grew up poor and on “the wrong side of the tracks,” as the 77-year-old phrased it during a recent sit-down interview inside his Columbia home.

“That’s what they called us,” Mathews said. 

The Mathews family lived on the far southern end of Columbia Avenue that juts out just past Centerville Road, near a set of railroad tracks that used to run through town.

Nelson Mathews sits on his couch in Columbia while wearing a Cubs hat and holding a bat used during his playing days.

“We’d do plenty of hunting in the woods right behind the house,” he said.

Mathews remembers playing pick-up baseball and basketball games at Turner Hall from morning until night as a youngster…>>>


Read more in the March 13, 2019, issue.

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Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.