Charles "Old Hoss" Radbourn Biography
The "Old Hoss" of Baseball
Charles Gardner Radbourn
One of the Earliest known Professional Baseball Players
He was the Second National League (NL) PITCHER TO WIN A TRIPLE CROWN
Born December 11, 1854 - Died February 5, 1897
Known for being extremely vain & arrogant, but an excellent baseball player nonetheless
Born in Rochester, New York, but raised in Bloomington, Illinois, Radbourn worked with his father as a butcher.
He was very athletic and was pretty good at everything he played. If he didn't know how to play, it would be a matter of time before he'd become a worthy opponent.
If there was one thing you could say about Charles Radbourn, it be that the man had heart - and lots of it. One year, Radbourn played in only six games, batted a .149 and never pitched. However, he practiced so hard that he developed a sore shoulder and was released from the ball club.
Early Life & Baseball Career
Radbourn was the second of eight children. His parents, Charles and Corine Radbourn, immigrated here from Bristol in South West England.
In 1878, Radbourn joined the Peoria Reds, a traveling baseball team as their right fielder and "change pitcher".
BACK THEN: Baseball teams had nine players, that's it. There were no relief pitchers. If a pitcher got tired, he changed positions with another player, usually the right fielder.
In 1879, Radbourn signed with Dubuque which was now included in the newly formed Northwest League.
In 1881, Radbourn made it to the major league's for the Buffalo Bisons as their second baseman, right fielder and "change pitcher", but then was released for a shoulder injury. He quickly recovered, and played for a pick-up Bloomington team. During an exhibition game against the Providence Grays, Radbourn impressed everybody to the point where the Providence Grays actually came up to him after the game and signed him on the spot and offered a salary that was guessed to be between $1100 and $1500.
That was WAY BIG money back then.
While playing with the Boston Beaneaters, Radbourn was upset with how things were running and showed how he felt by flipping the camera the bird in an 1886 opening day team photo - for real.
Charles Radbourn's Baseball Stats
309-194 Career Record
Record for Most WINS in a season (unlikely to EVER be beaten)
Record for SECOND MOST innings pitched in a season
(unlikely to EVER be beaten)
1884 - Won the National League's pitching Triple Crown with a 1.38 earned run average, 62 wins and 441 strikeouts
YEAR AND TEAM
1881-1885 PROVIDENCE GRAYS
1886-1889 BOSTON BEANEATERS
1890 BOSTON REDS
1891 CINCINNATI REDS
Baseball is AMERICA'S Sport
Radbourn opened a saloon & billiards parlor in Bloomington, Illinois soon after retirement from baseball. He was injured from a hunting accident and lost an eye. Being a very vain person, Radbourn was ashamed of his disfigured face and lock himself in a back room at his saloon and drank away his sorrows.
By 1896, he was suffering with "full blown" syphilis and died on February 5, 1897.