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Baseball history unpacked, November 14

and other stories

Cincinnati Reds v St Louis Cardinals
requiem for a lightweight
Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/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.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1900 - The National League rejects the American League as an equal, declaring it an outlaw league outside of the National Agreement, thus inaugurating a state of war. This follows the AL’s announcement two days ago that it has made arrangements to go into Washington, DC, Baltimore and Philadelphia. Two weeks later the American Association makes it a three-way battle, but that third circuit will remain a minor league. (3)

Peter Bendix of Beyond the Box Score had an excellent writeup of this situation and the evolution of the National and American leagues. Rather than duplicate that effort, I recommend the work.

  • 1961 - John Fetzer, a passionate fan of the game, becomes the lone owner of the Tigers when he buys out the estate of Fred Knorr. After the 1983 season, the media mogul will sell the team to pizza entrepreneur Tom Monaghan. (1)

Fetzer was a radio station owner originally, and an electrical engineer by training, and is credited with a lot of innovation, especially regarding developments in broadcasting signal. He was also a spiritualist, founding the Fetzer Institute. He is largely to blame for the spread of Muzak but let’s not hold that against him.

Monaghan sells bad pizza but is otherwise a pretty decent sort by most reports.

  • 1986 - Nelson Doubleday and Fred Wilpon buy the World Champion Mets from the Doubleday Publishing Company for $80.75 million. In 1980, the book company had bought the franchise for a then-record $21.1 million. (1)
  • 2011 - Mike Matheny is named to succeed Tony La Russa, who retired as the manager of the Cardinals a few days after leading the Redbirds to a world championship. The 41-year-old former minor league instructor, who served as a special assistant to general manager John Mozeliak, has no previous managerial experience. (1)
  • Cubs birthdays: Jim Brewer, Willie Hernandez, Kent Bottenfield, Xavier Nady. Also notable: Jim Piersall.

Sources:

Thanks for reading.