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Baseball history unpacked, October 8

The Chicago Fire, Don Larsen, Travis Wood goes deep, and other stories

Travis goes deep
Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

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. It’s a beautiful day for a ball game — let’s get started!

Today in baseball history:

  • 1871 - A great fire rips through Chicago, IL, destroying the home ballpark of the White Stockings, as well as its uniforms, record books, equipment and cash, and clothing and personal property belonging to its players. The team is forced to release a number of its players and to finish its season on the road, and will only return to the National Association in 1874.
  • 1908 - In a make-up contest necessitated by Fred Merkle’s baserunning blunder on September 23, Three Finger Brown outduels Christy Mathewson, 4-2, as the Cubs win the National League pennant by one game over the Giants in one of the most dramatic pennant races of all time. (1)

Box score. Joe Tinker tripled. Frank Chance, Johnny Evers, and Frank Schulte all doubled.

  • 1929 - In front of 50,000 fans at Wrigley Field, surprise starter Howard Ehmke establishes a new World Series record, striking out 13 Cubs en route to a 3-1 A’s victory in Game 1 of the Fall Classic. The mark will last for 34 years until Dodger hurler Carl Erskine fans 14 Yankees in 1953. (1)

Box score. The Cubs had only one extra-base hit, a double by Woody English. Charlie Root took the loss. Jimmy Foxx homered for the A’s.

  • 1945 - Stan Hack’s double makes a tricky bounce over left fielder Hank Greenberg’s shoulder with two outs in the 12th inning to score runner Bill Schuster and give the Chicago Cubs an 8 - 7 win in Game 6 to even the World Series with Detroit.

Box score. Greenberg homered, but the Tigers still came up a run short. Hank Borowy got the win in relief, defeating Dizzy Trout.

  • 1956 - Don Larsen pitches the first perfect game in World Series history, defeating the Dodgers, 2-0 in Game 5 of the Fall Classic at Yankee Stadium. The 27 year-old right-hander, who had a poor start in Game 2 because of a lack of control, throws only 97 pitches, striking out pinch-hitter Dale Mitchell looking for the final out. (1)
  • 2008 - The Cubs exercise Rich Harden’s $7 million option for 2009, the day after tests reveal the 26-year-old hurler has a sound pitching shoulder. The hard-throwing right-hander, obtained from the A’s in a July deal, compiled a combined record of 10-2, posting a 2.07 ERA in 25 starts for his two teams. (1)
  • 2016 - The Cubs win Game 2 of the NLDS, 5 - 2, over the Giants at Wrigley Field by jumping on starter Jeff Samardzija for 4 runs over the first two innings. Starter Kyle Hendricks has to leave in the 4th after being hit on the forearm by a batted ball, but his successor, Travis Wood, becomes only the second relief pitcher in postseason history to hit a home run after Rosy Ryan in the 1924 World Series, going deep off George Kontos in the bottom of the 4th.

Box score. You can watch it again if you like:


Thanks for reading.