While contemporary baseball pitchers are glad to win 20 games in a season, Providence Grays pitcher "Old Hoss" Radbourn won an unprecedented 59 games in the summer of 1884, including all three games of the first World Series. Pulitzer Prize–nominated journalist Edward Achorn re-creates a time when catchers caught barehanded, cheating was commonplace, and the players were considered little better than thugs. Standoffish and enigmatic, Radbourn valiantly overcame crippling pain in his right arm to have the best season any pitcher may ever have.
"This is a beautifully written, meticulously researched story about a bygone baseball era that even die-hard fans will find foreign, and about a pitcher who might have been the greatest of all time."—Joseph J. Ellis