Today in baseball history:
- 1905 - Giants hurler Christy Mathewson, who, in 1901, became the first rookie in the modern era to throw a no-no, pitches his second career no-hitter, beating the Orphans at Chicago’s West Side Grounds, 1-0. Mathewson and Mordecai Brown match hitless innings until the top of the ninth when New York reaches the future Hall-of-Famer for two hits. (1)
The Orphans (Cubs) were in fourth place at that time at 28-25. The Giants were way out in front at 37-14.
- 1912 - In the top of the ninth inning with no outs at New York’s Polo Grounds, Christy Mathewson strands a runner on third base to record his 300th victory when the Giants edge the Cubs, 3-2. During his 17-year major-league career, ‘Big Six’ will compile a 373-188 record. (1)
- 1940 - In the inaugural Hall of Fame game, the Red Sox beat the Cubs at Doubleday Field, 10-9. Future Hall of Famer Ted Williams hits two home runs during the six-inning rain-shortened exhibition. (1)
- 1973 - Dock Ellis walks a batter without ever throwing a pitch to him. After going 2-0 on the Atlanta left fielder Sonny Jackson, the Pirates right-hander is replaced by Ramon Hernandez, who throws two more balls to Dick Dietz, a pinch-hitter for Jackson, to complete the base-on-balls which is attributed to the Bucs’ starting pitcher. (1)
- 1984 - The Indians trade Rick Sutcliffe along with George Frazier and Ron Hassey to the Cubs for Joe Carter, Mel Hall, Don Schulze, and minor league hurler Darryl Banks. After the midseason trade, the 28-year-old right-hander, who will go on to win the NL Cy Young award, posts a 16-1 record for Chicago, leading the team to the NL East flag. (1)
Rivals Jake Arrieta/Pedro Strop day and the arrival of Ryne Sandberg for the best trade in Cubs history. Should have had the same impact. Came at a big price though — Carter was a first-rounder who had been tearing up the minors, Schulze was a former first-rounder as well, and Hall had been very good the previous year.
I remember a lot of tooth-gnashing at first, but that stopped very quickly as Sutcliffe settled in. Frazier and Hassey didn’t add much...Frazier arguably detracted from the team. I recall him giving up a lot of line drives. Carter of course went on to a fine long career punctuated by a dramatic long ball while he played for the Blue Jays, and Hall went on to do what he did. Here’s a long article about Hall that explains some things.
- 1994 - At the age of 34, Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg suddenly retires, walking away from $16 million. ‘Ryno’ will return to the Chicago lineup in 1996 to play for two more seasons before completing his 16-year Hall of Fame career. (1)
Not going to speculate here. Ryno had his reasons. Here’s one article that explains a little. His book said:
“The reason I retired is simple: I lost the desire that got me ready to play on an everyday basis for so many years. Without it, I didn’t think I could perform at the same level I had in the past, and I didn’t want to play at a level less than what was expected of me by my teammates, coaches, ownership, and most of all, myself.”
- 2006 - The first wireless bullpen communication system in baseball history is used at Wrigley Field when a cell phone, which will be sent to the Hall of Fame, is used for the first time in major league history to call the bullpen. From the dugout, Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild calls the bullpen during the third inning to start warming up reliever Angel Guzman. (1)
- 2010 - In game against their cross-town rivals at Wrigley Field, the Cubs get out of a bases loaded jam in the final frame for a 1-0 victory over the White Sox. Juan Pierre’s leadoff single in the top of the ninth spoils Ted Lilly’s bid for a no-hitter, a feat that hasn’t been accomplished at the ‘Friendly Confines’ since Milt Pappas threw a no-no in 1972. (1)
- (1) — The National Pastime.
- (2) — Today in Baseball History.
- (3) — Baseball Reference.
- (4) — Society for American Baseball Research.
Thanks for reading.