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Baseball history unpacked, May 14

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Lake Front Park, fans at risk, Wimpy Quinn and Efren Navarro’s birthdays, and other such information, compiled for your pleasure

MLB: Chicago Cubs-Media Day
Happy birthday, Efren Navarro
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

In our last installment, on May 11, we looked at National Baseball Day, Mr. Cub’s slam, Kerry Wood’s baker’s dozen K’s, and even more prodigious feats. Today we train our Cubbie Blue glasses on Lake Front Park, fans at risk, Wimpy Quinn and Efren Navarro’s birthdays, and other such items of interest, with illustrations, links, and video. Please enjoy immoderately, and thanks for reading.

Here’s a handy Cubs timeline.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1883 - The Phillies, known as the Quakers at the time, win their first game in franchise history when they rout the White Stockings, later to be known as the Cubs, at Chicago’s Lake Front Park. Philadelphia had lost their first eight games of the season before today’s 12-0 victory, and will finish the season in last place in the eight-team National League with a dismal 17-81 (.173) record. (1)

About Lake Front Park and the Chicago White Stockings. More about Lake Front Park. There’s now a library branch on the spot.

Artists’s rendering
Paul Healy
  • 1886 - Charles Comiskey, player-manager of the Browns, prevents a double play by running full tilt into Reds second baseman Bid McPhee, enabling the Browns to win 2-1. The Cincinnati fans are irate, but the American Association umpire allows the play. (2)

Results and standings. The Browns were the World Champions that year, beating the Chicago White Stockings. More about Charles Comiskey.

  • 1904 - The Senators establish a major league record by starting the season 0-13 when the team drops a 6-3 decision to New York at Hilltop Park. Washington will be 11 games out of first place before the club wins its first contest this year. (1)
  • 1920 - Beating the Tigers in relief at Griffith Stadium 9-8, 32 year-old Senator right-hander Walter Johnson registers his 300th victory. (1)
  • 1927 - In the top of the seventh in the Phillies’ game against St. Louis, a section of the right field stands of the Baker Bowl collapses, causing hundreds of fans to fall on the patrons below. Although there are many injuries, the only death is caused by the stampeding crowd. (1)

More about this. It wasn’t the first collapse at that park, which was demolished in 1938.

  • 1939 - During the Indians’ 9-4 victory over Chicago at Comiskey Park, a woman, sitting in the stands near the visitor’s dugout, is injured when Marvin Owen’s foul ball strikes her just above the right eye. The Indians’ starting pitcher, her 20 year-old son Bob, threw the pitch that resulted in Mrs. Feller needing seven stitches on Mother’s Day. (1)

Box score. From The Best of Blooperstown. This was also the day that a five-year-old had a baby. It was the first baseball game Mrs. Feller ever saw.

  • 1950 - Pirates’ first baseman Johnny Hopp helps his team crush the Cubs, 16-9, when the Nebraska native goes 6-for-6, including a pair of homers. The All-Star infielder is called ‘Hippity’ by his teammates. (1)

Box score. We’ve spoken of Hopp here before, and probably will again. He was one of the best players of his time, though he played sparingly toward the end of his career.

  • 2000 - Although Sammy Sosa gets five hits, Henry Rodriguez drives in seven runs, and Eric Young steals five bases, the Cubs still manage to lose to the Expos, 16-15. Young’s accomplishment on the bases is the most by a Cubs player since 1881, when George Gore stole seven bases. (1)

Box score.

  • 2010 - Andrew McCutchen and Garrett Jones both collect five hits, including a home run for each, in the Pirates’ 10-6 victory over Chicago. The last time two Bucs enjoyed a five-hit game on the same day happened when Willie Stargell and Bob Robertson accomplished the feat against Atlanta in 1970. (1)

Box score.