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“He was just drunk enough to be stupid, and one could not reason with him”

Jul 22, 2011, 10:30 AM EDT

1884 Providence Grays

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.

  1. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:45 AM

    Ahem, it’s corporeal. Holla back now.

  2. bigharold - Jul 22, 2011 at 10:46 AM

    Gee, I guess without twitter, TMZ and 24 hour cable news a player had a lot less to worry about.

    Ah, .. the good old days!

    • nolanwiffle - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:05 AM

      Simply put……it was a better game in the 80’s.

      • Alex K - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:42 PM

        The 1880’s?

  3. atworkident - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:09 AM

    Sounds like Lawrence Taylor’s long lost relative.

  4. Ducky Medwick - Jul 22, 2011 at 11:28 AM

    I wrote up a take on this a few weeks ago. Flat out hilarious stuff:

    • Utley's Hair - Jul 22, 2011 at 1:57 PM

      It’s good to know you find yourself hilarious.

      • Ducky Medwick - Jul 22, 2011 at 3:57 PM

        Post civ war base ball and syphilitic dementia is hilarious. Apologies for any suggestion of grandiose delusion.

  5. 18thstreet - Jul 22, 2011 at 12:39 PM

    Can two people really comprise a rotation?

    • ta192 - Jul 22, 2011 at 5:40 PM

      Three’s a crowd…

      • bigdicktater - Jul 22, 2011 at 8:37 PM

        Try it with 2 women next time!

      • ta192 - Jul 22, 2011 at 9:49 PM

        A long, long time ago, in an Amsterdam far away…

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