This is random, but I enjoyed it like crazy.
Edward Achorn wrote a book about Old Hoss Radbourn last year (the corporeal one, not his ghost, which haunts Twitter). I never did get around to reading it for some reason, but I’ll remedy that soon. In the meantime, I have greatly enjoyed his day-by-day diary of the 1884 Providence Grays baseball season — Old Hoss’ team — over at his website.
Today’s entry is a peach. It’s not about Radbourn, who was suspended when the Grays met the Phillies on July 22nd, but Charlie Sweeney, Hoss’ younger rival in the Grays’ rotation (a rotation which included only two men back then). You should read the story in its entirety, but know that it starts with Sweeney waking up late, realizing that he has missed the morning workout and may miss his start that afternoon. His explanation to his manager:
“If you want to know why I was not here this morning, I will tell you. I was drunk last night and did not get home,” Sweeney confesses.
The game gets even more interesting. And the game story ends better than any game story you’ve read in your life:
“At the conclusion of the game,” the Sporting Life reports, “the foolish pitcher left the grounds in the company of two women” — prostitutes, described as “very bad company,” whom he had escorted to the grounds in his half-drunk state — “and an hour later could have been seen staggering up the principal street of the city”
And people think Carlos Zambrano is trouble.