Root, root, root for this 19th century bad-ass – REVISED

finger

It’s opening day of the 1886 baseball season for the New York Giants and one member of the visiting Boston Beaneaters — the great pitcher Charlie (Old Hoss) Radbourn, salutes the occasion with middle finger aloft.

Now, that’s what I call America’s pastime! A big, juicy fuck you to all and sundry, and if you don’t like it you can talk it over with Radbourn’s bat or, worse, his big, bushy mustache.

Our pals at Retronaut call it the first-ever photograph of the bird in full symbolic wing.

And my old friend Richard Jerome  wrote in to inform me that Radbourn was one of the truly legendary pitchers in baseball history, if only for his spectacular 1884 season, when he won a spectacular 59, or possibly 60,  games. Yes, that’s right: he won fifty-nine or possibly sixty games. Was he juicing?

You can find out everything you need to know about Old Hoss right here in Richard Achorn’s recent biography, “Fifty-nine in ’84.” 

Play ball!

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