Old Hoss - A Fictional Baseball Biography of Charles Radbourn
Publisher: Open Road Distribution
Charles Radbourn won fifty-nine games in 1884, the stuff of legends. In eleven years he racked up over three hundred wins and forty-five hundred innings—mind-blowing numbers. And yet the facts of this Hall of Famer’s play are more credible than the stories of his life of alcohol, womanizing, wild brawling, and, later, the ravages of syphilis. Radbourn’s plaque at Cooperstown presents an image that is almost caricature: cap set forward, mouth open, mustache pricked up at the ends and thick as his nose is long, nearly. Not Charles, but Ol’ Hoss. It is now May 1941, and the invented Chicago Tribune journalist John Trapp is on a train for Bloomington, Illinois, to cover ceremonies honoring the late Radbourn. Trapp meets (the real) baseballer Clark Griffith, who begins to tell him tales of the great pitcher. Our authors then have Trapp craft the first biography of the man, anchoring the details of his life in fact.