Thursday, March 29, 2012

The 1884 Maroons: Conspiracy Theories

Before we leave Old Hoss and Providence behind and get on with the rest of the Maroons' 1884 season, I wanted to post one more excerpt from Fifty-Nine in '84.  I've said it before and I'm sure I'll say it again but Charlie Sweeney was a piece of work:

From the start and for years to come, Sweeney believed that he had been the victim of a conspiracy.  He claimed that Ned Allen even divulged the dirty secret to Lucas in 1885-that Radbourn, jealous of Sweeney, had engaged in an underhanded plot to force the young pitcher off the team.  Radbourn supposedly had complained to Bancroft that "Sweeney was getting all the credit for everything," and had promised to stop slacking off and start working hard if the club would just dump his competition.  Sweeney also disputed the charge that he had shown up drunk in the fateful game against Philadelphia, arguing that it was unlikely he could have pitched seven strong innings while intoxicated.  "At any rate," he added mischievously, "wouldn't it have been better to let the drunken man stay in" than to take him out and lose the game?  

Again, I encourage you to pick up Ed's great book and read the whole story of Radbourn's fantastic 1884 season.  

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