Charles (“Old Hoss”) Radbourn was born in Rochester N.Y. December 11, 1854. In 1855, the Radbourn family moved to Bloomington, IL. During his teen years in Bloomington, Radbourn worked as a butcher for his father, and also worked as a brakeman for the Indiana, Bloomington and Western Railway. In 1880, he made his major league baseball debut with the Buffalo Bisons. In 1884, Radbourn set baseball records, winning the Major League’s pitching Triple Crown with an unbeaten record of 59 wins in a single season. During his career, he also played for the Providence Grays, Boston Beaneaters, and Boston Reds; he last appeared with the Cincinnati Reds on August 11, 1891. He returned to Bloomington in retirement, opening a billiard parlor and saloon. He died February 15, 1897 and is interred in Evergreen Cemetery in Bloomington. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939.
The collection includes newspaper articles and advertisements from 1857 to 2011, magazine articles, miscellaneous items including a Radbourn family genealogy, notes, letters, emails photocopies, an original play Old Hoss: Ornery, belligerent, and just maybe the best pitcher who ever lived by Jared Brown (2014), images, baseball cards and legal papers.