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Baseball history unpacked, December 12

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Old Pete, Three-Finger Brown, Fukudome, and other stories

Fukudome era begins

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:

  • 1887 - A baseball reporters association is organized. It pledges to work to standardize scoring practices, especially in the gray area of stolen bases. (3)
  • 1903 - During the post-season City Series in Chicago, Cubs veteran Jack Taylor is chided for losing three games to the White Stockings and Cubs president Jim Hart is convinced that gambling was involved. Taylor is traded to the St. Louis Cardinals with rookie C Larry McLean for pitcher Mike O’Neill and a righthander who was 9-13 in his first season, Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown. (3)
  • 1917 - In one of the most lopsided deals in baseball history, the Phillies trade Pete Alexander to the Cubs, along with starting catcher Bill Killefer, for right-hander Mike Prendergast, who compiles a 13-15 record in his one-plus season with Philadelphia, and backup backstop William ‘Pickles’ Dillhoefer, who plays a total of eight games for the team, batting .091. From 1918 to 1926, ‘Old Pete’ compiles a 128-83 record in a Cubs uniform en route to Hall of Fame career, which also includes playing for the Cardinals. (1)
  • 1928 - In an effort to speed up the game and add more offense, National League president John Heydler proposes the concept of a designated batter for the pitcher. The American League opposes the idea, and the NL withdraws the proposal before Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis is asked to break the deadlock. (1)
  • 1956 - A major league player association is formed with Bob Feller, a future Hall-of-Fame hurler with the Indians, being named its first president. The labor organization, one of many attempts by the players to form a union, will prove to be very successful a decade later when Marvin Miller is hired to be the MLBPA’s first executive director in 1966. (1)
  • 1973 - After being the first player to invoke the new 10 and 5 rule to avoid being dealt to the Angels, Ron Santo agrees to be traded to the south side of Chicago to play for the rival White Sox. In return for the 33-year-old infielder, who will play just one season with the Pale Hose before retiring, the Cubs receive Jim Kremmel (the player to be named later), Ken Frailing, Steve Stone, and Steve Swisher. (1)
  • 1996 - The Cubs obtain OF Henry Rodriguez from the Expos in exchange for P Miguel Batista. (3)
  • 1999 - The Cubs obtain P Ismael Valdes (9-14) and 2B Eric Young from the Dodgers for pitchers Terry Adams and Chad Ricketts, and a player to be named. Despite missing 40 games, Young swiped 51 bases in 1999. (3)
  • 2007 - After declining offers from the Yomiuri Giants and his former team, the Chunichi Dragons, Kosuke Fukudome comes to terms with the Cubs on a four-year deal reported to be worth $48 million. The 30-year-old Japanese outfielder, also sought by the Padres, White Sox, Giants, and Rangers, compiled a .305 batting average during his 13-year tenure in Japan’s Central League. (1)
  • Cubs birthdays: Tom Daly, Bob Carpenter.

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