Fifty-Nine in '84: Old Hoss Radbourn, Barehanded Baseball, and the Greatest Season a Pitcher Ever Had
In 1884, Providence Grays pitcher Charles "Old Hoss" Radbourn won an astounding fifty-nine games—more than anyone in major-league history ever had before, or has since. He then went on to win all three games of baseball's first World Series.
Fifty-nine in '84 tells the dramatic story not only of that amazing feat of grit but also of big-league baseball two decades after...more
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The story begins with a brief biographical sketch of Radbourn, who grew up in Bloomington, Illinois. He enjoyed life in the Midwest, hunting being a favorite pastime. He also enjoyed baseball. We see the start of his career and his eventual signing a contract with the major league team from Buffalo. A ...more
George Will's comment in Ken Burns' Baseball series that the early game was one played by tough, hard men who knew how much worse their other choices in life were seems appropriate to describe the book's hero as well ...more
This is the tale of Charles “Old Hoss” Radbourn(e), who pitched the Providence Grays to the National League pennant in 1884. That he did that wasn’t just the story, however. It’s of how he took the Grays upon his back and carried them to the championship by winning 59 games (or 60, pending on sources) during the regular season. Despite pain and without the courtesy of modern training regimens, Old Hoss did s ...more
What a bunch of wimps.
Charles "Old Hoss" Radbourn started 73 games in 1884—and he finished them all. Radbourn established the big league record for ...more
Achorn does a wonderful job of bringing Radbourn to life. Radbourn was feisty, rebellious, and crafty, a hard drinker and a hard worker. He had a great fastball and a good curve ball. He was an early pioneer of the screwball. Above all, he had ...more
Category – Sports/Baseball Publication Date – February 22, 2011
Okay sports and baseball fans, if I told you a pitcher won Fifty-nine games in one season would you believe me? Yes, it is true in 1884 a pitcher by the name of Charlie Radbourn did it for the Providence Grays. This was a time when baseball was played barehanded, yes, no gloves, barehanded.
This book tells the story of baseball at its rawest. It was a sport that was ...more
But go back 126 years ....
This is a wonderful book with a ton of information about baseball in the mid 1880's and what American was like back then..
Charles Old Hoss Radbourn pitched for the Providence Grays -they were a professional ball club who along with the Boston Beaneaters, Detroit Wolverines, New York Gothams, C ...more
Coming away from this book, I have a new respect f ...more
real rugged and durable,especially the pitchers. Also enjoyed the author
writing about what was going in the New England area and the rest of
America during that time period.
One of the best sports books I've ever read!
While Springsteen's can't-let-go friend "could throw that speedball by you, make you look like a fool boy", 19th-century Major League baseball's best pitcher set his amazing record with a mixture of speed, guile, and strategy. That record--winning 59 games in 1884--is so far beyond today's numbers that fans today can barely relate.
But baseball, as Edward Achorn does a good job documenting for us, was a different game, starting with the barely--bare-handed fielders, mound-less pitchers, ...more
In the 1880's people played baseball barehanded. Pitchers routinely threw more innings in a year than modern pitchers throw in three. And they didn't throw significantly slower or with less trauma to their arms and they didn't have talented orthopedists, whirlpools, or even the concept of icing down after a start. Twenty wins in a season was considered mediocre. Now twenty wins is phenomenal. Careers were brutally short.
It's in this context that C ...more
When I was a kid, I read dozens of baseball histories, from biographies of individual players such as Mickey Mantle and Babe Ruth to overall histories of the game. I was never a great baseball player in the sandlots, but I loved it nonetheless.
I even wrote a book, Stadium For Rent, about the Tampa Bay area’s 20-year effort to land the team that eventually became the Rays, so ...more
This book focuses on a pitcher who played in the barehanded era who holds the professional baseball record for most wins in a season at an unbelievable 59. Charles Radbourn, or “Old Hoss,” played from 1880 to 1991, mostly with the Providence Grays. In 1884, pitching nearly every day, wh ...more
Achorn relies heavily on the newspaper accounts of t ...more
What I found amazing was the fine handling of historical fact and the not-actually-confirmed but often likely stories connected to baseball and Radbourn. Nice handling of "legend" and suppositions. Nice handling of a central ...more