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Baseball history unpacked, November 26

The sad coda of Hack Wilson, and other stories

Kid K, after
Photo by David Banks/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. “We invite you to investigate the linked material, which will illustrate the bullets somewhat,” he says, in a dry professorial tone.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1909 - The Philadelphia Phillies are sold for $350,000 to a group headed by sportswriter Horace Fogel. Because of his dual roles, Fogel will become the only executive barred from a league meeting. (3)

The history of the Phillies’ ownership. (4)

Buster Brown was on that team. Not Richard F. Outcault’s character or his dog Tighe, but still.

  • 1948 - National League president Ford Frick steps in and pays $350 for funeral services, including the cost of a coffin, for the unclaimed body of Hack Wilson. The former slugger, who had died probably of alcohol abuse a few days earlier in a Baltimore hospital, is identified only as a white male. (1)

Sad. Borne out by SABR’s bio. (4)

His drinking buddies up and down the North Street taverns in Baltimore tossed into a hat to help pay for a funeral service, with enough left over for a gravestone; the National League sent a check for $350.

  • 1961 - The Professional Baseball Rules Committee votes 8-1 against legalizing the spitball. Only National League supervisor of umpires Cal Hubbard votes in favor. (3)
  • 1996 - With the owners’ approval of the collective bargaining agreement, regular-season interleague play and revenue sharing among owners along with payroll tax on players become a reality. The landmark agreement voted down 18-12 three weeks ago is ratified overwhelmingly by a vote of 26-4. (1)
  • 2007 - The Cubs re-signed 30 year-old free agent Kerry Wood to a one-year, $4.2 million deal which includes additional incentives for closing games. The fragile former right-handed starter, who turned down multi-year offers from other clubs to stay with Chicago, will be given an opportunity to become the club’s closer. (1)
  • Cubs birthdays: Hugh Duffy (HoF), John Churry, Larry Gura, Richie Hebner, Jay Howell, Ron Meridith, Matt Garza.

Sources:

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