A wildly popular Cubs-centric look at baseball’s past. Here’s a handy Cubs timeline, to help you follow along as we review select scenes from the rich tapestry of Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball history. We’re winding down to the end of the season, and there’s not much to choose from — but we have video. It’s a beautiful day for a ball game — let’s get started!
Monday, we’ll segue into historical essays in this space — stay tuned!
Today in baseball history:
- 1931 - Charles Comiskey dies at age 72. The White Sox owner and pioneer player never recovered from the betrayal of the 1919 World Series. (3)
- 1946 - Westbrook Pegler, a syndicated columnist, becomes the first to question in print the off-field association of Leo Durocher with actor George Raft and others allegedly tied to gamblers. The Pulitzer Prize winning writer’s expose of the Dodgers manager will start a series of events that will lead to the ‘Lip’s’ one year suspension in 1947. (1)
- 1960 - In a move designed to get a jump on the National League in the expansion race, the American League grants franchises to Washington and Los Angeles, and okays the Senators’ move to Minnesota. The decision to place a new team in Washington is partly political because the owners fear the nation’s lawmakers, upset about losing the American League’s oldest club, will threaten baseball’s anti-trust exemption. (1)
- 1971 - Vida Blue of the Oakland Athletics wins the American League Cy Young Award by a 98-85 margin over Mickey Lolich of the Detroit Tigers. Blue was 24-8 for Oakland, posting 301 strikeouts, eight shutouts and a 1.82 ERA, becoming the youngest pitcher to win the award. In the National League, Ferguson Jenkins of the Chicago Cubs receives the honor. (3)
- 1979 - Commissioner Bowie Kuhn notifies Hall of Famer Willie Mays that if he accepts a position with the Bally Manufacturing Corporation, owner of several gambling casinos, he must disassociate himself from major league baseball. Mays, a part-time coach and goodwill ambassador for the Mets, will relinquish his duties upon accepting Bally’s job offer. (3)
- 1985 - In Game 6 of the World Series, Don Denkinger’s controversial ninth-inning call at first base enables the Royals to beat the Cardinals, 2-1. The play, in which Jorge Orta is called safe, when it appears first baseman Jack Clark’s throw to Todd Worrell, covering the bag, clearly beats him, gives Dane Iorg the opportunity to hit a two-run walk-off single and to extend the Fall Classic to a decisive Game 7 that Kansas City will win to capture its first World Championship. (1)
- 1995 - The ceremonial first pitch prior to Game 5 of the World Series is thrown by Commander Ken Bowersox, who is onboard the space shuttle Columbia. The ceremony, transmitted from space via satellite and shown to the Indians and Braves fans at Jacobs Field, continues with an animation sequence on the scoreboard that ends with a ball that appears to fly in and land in center field. (1)
- 2008 - The Hank Aaron Award, given annually to the top offensive player in each league, is presented to Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis (.312, 29, 115) and Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez (.289, 27, 111). The honor was established in 1999 to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Hall of Fame outfielder surpassing Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record. (1)
- 2011 - New Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein announces the appointment of Jed Hoyer, who worked with him with the Boston Red Sox, as the team’s new general manager. The San Diego Padres are expected to name Josh Byrnes as Hoyer’s replacement and will receive a player in compensation from the Cubs.
- 2016 - The Cubs tie up the World Series with a 5 - 1 win over the Indians in Game 2. Jake Arrieta does not allow a hit until the 6th, while the Cubs score against Trevor Bauer in the top of the 1st and add runs in the 3rd and 5th. Anthony Rizzo scores twice while Kyle Schwarber drives in a pair. (3)
- Cubs birthdays: Jack Doyle, Tom Stanton, Vic Aldridge, Bobby Thomson, Russ Meyer, Pete Mikkelson, Mike Harkey, Terrell Lowery, Alberto Cabrera. Also notable: Pedro Martinez (HoF).
- (1) — The National Pastime.
- (2) — Today in Baseball History.
- (3) — Baseball Reference.
- (4) — Society for American Baseball Research.
Thanks for reading.