Old Hoss Radbourn

Charles Gardiner Radbourn, nicknamed “Old Hoss,” holds the major league record for the most victories in one season with 59 wins in 1884 while pitching for the Providence Grays. That season he threw 73 complete games in 75 games played, and recorded 2 saves in the other two. He also pitched 678 2/3 innings, the second most ever recorded in the history of baseball. His win total for one season has never been surpassed, nor will it ever be due to how the game is now played. Among his numerous accomplishments are winning the the National League pitching triple crown, winning over 20 games in nine of the eleven years he pitched, and tossing a no-hitter in 1885.  His career record was 309-194 with a 2.64 ERA and 1830 strikeouts. He led his team to the World Series in 1884 winning all three games for the Providence Grays.

There is a discrepancy in his record.  Sources like the Sporting News and McMillian’s Encyclopedia credit Radbourn with 60 wins in 1884, while Baseball Reference, Baseball Prospectus and SABR credit him with 59 wins, as does the book Fifty Nine in 84, written by Ed Achorn about Old Hoss. 

-Alan Bard

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August 21, 2014

Bloomington, IL

 

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