Baseball's Forgotten Record

Dan PazosCorrespondent IJuly 5, 2009

I'm going to guess that not many people know who the man in that picture is.

If I told you he was one of the best pitchers in Major League history, you would only have to google his name to find out the truth.

This man is Charles Radbourn, and he holds Major League Baseball's most forgotten record.

Like Babe Ruth,Radbourn was better known by his nickname "Old Hoss."

I implore you to use Google once again and do a quick search on baseball's most unbreakable records.

The ones you find continuously listed include Cy Young's 511 wins, Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hit streak, Nolan Ryan's 5,714 strikeouts, and Rickey Henderson's 130 stolen base record.

Now, I understand that these records are most likely never going to be broken, but Radbourn's record is not even mentioned in any of the top Web sites that Google recommends for the "greatest records in baseball history."

I'm also quite certain that here on our own Bleacher Report, if you check out the profiles of most MLB writers, you will not find Radbourn's record listed as the most unbreakable.

Radbourn had an 11-year Hall of Fame career, racking up 309 wins and posting a lifetime ERA of 2.67.

Radbourn won more than 300 games in just 11 years.

That stat in itself is sheer baseball brilliance.

Greg Maddux won 300 games in 18 years, Roger Clemens won 300 games in 19 years, Lefty Grove took 17 years, while Phil Nekro reached 300 in 20 years.

But despite his quickness to number 300, Radbourn is most known for the 1884 season where "Old Hoss" won 59 games.

That same season, he started an astonishing 73 games, which is amazingly not even the record for starts in a season.

That record, 75 starts, is shared by Pudd Gavin, who played for the Buffalo Bison in 1883, and Will White in 1979 for the Cincinnati Reds.

I don't really believe people understand the magnitude of this amazing baseball feat.

Pitchers in the major leagues today don't even start 59 games, let alone win 59 games.

The last guy to start 59 games was Mark Baldwin for the Columbus Colts in 1889.

In fact, not a single player from the 20th century appears in the top-100 games started list.

If we put that into perspective today, Randy Johnson, widely considered one of the best ever, won 64 games combined in three seasons from 2000-2002.

Pitching great Nolan Ryan  played 27 years yet the most games he ever started in a season was 39, and the most wins he ever collected in a season was 22.

Even past great Cy Young; the most games he ever won in a season was 36, and he played double the years (22) that Radbourn did.

In the present day, a pitcher who wins even 19 games in considered to have had a great season.

This is most likely due to the fact that pitchers just can't handle that many starts anymore.

It's truly funny the amount of technology we have today in order to keep players healthy and get them off of the DL as quick as possible.

Imagine if "Old Hoss" had access to the facilities that pitchers have now.

When asked about fatigue, Radbourn famously said, "Tired out tossing a little five-ounce baseball for two hours? I used to be a butcher. From four in the morning until eight at night, I knocked down steers with a 25-pound sledge. Tired from playing two hours a day for 10 times the money I used to get for 16 hours a day?"

Let’s get Tim Lincecum in a butcher's uniform ASAP.

So, let's give some more credit to "Old Hoss" and bring up his name more often in the most unbreakable baseball record debate.

I wouldn't mind seeing more B/R writers listing his feat on their profile, either.