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Baseball history unpacked, June 25

Both sides now, Sauer balls, and other stories

Chicago Cubs v Pittsburgh Pirates
approach with caution
Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images

A Cubs-centric look at baseball’s past. Here’s a handy Cubs timeline.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1924 - Pirates left-hander Emil Yde’s double ties the score in the ninth inning. Five innings later, the Pittsburgh reliever’s triple in the 14th frame beats the Cubs at Forbes Field, 8-7. (1)

Box score. Yde was born in Great Lakes, IL, and collected 4.3 WAR over a 5 year career in which he won 49 games and lost 25. He was nominated for an MVP award in 1924, when he went 16-3 with a 2.83 ERA and 3.3 of his lifetime WAR. He beat “Old Pete” Alexander that day, a day in which every Cubs hitter except the immortal Gabby Hartnett had a hit.

  • 1937 - Augie Galan becomes the first National Leaguer to hit a homer from each side of the plate. The switch-hitter’s pair of round-trippers, a homer from the left side off Freddie Fitzsimmons in the fourth frame and from the right side in the eighth against Ralph Birkofer, helps the Cubs beat Brooklyn at Wrigley Field, 11-2. (1)

Box score. Galan was a pretty good player who lasted 16 years in the big leagues, was nominated for the MVP 5 times, played in three World Series, and made the All-Star team three times. He was a switch-hitter until 1943, when he began hitting from the left side only. In 1935, he went a full season (646 at-bats) without hitting into a double play, the first player to do so in the major leagues. He did, however, hit into a triple play on April 21. (4)

  • 1950 - Hank Sauer enjoys a 4-for-4 day at the plate, stroking two home runs and two doubles. The 33-year-old All-Star outfielder’s 12 total bases help the Cubs defeat Philadelphia at Shibe Park, 11-8. (1)

Box score. This was the first game of a double-header. Sauer walked in the second game, but did not record a hit. The Cubs were bad that year, despite Sauer and Andy Pafko and Roy Smalley. 41-year-old Dutch Leonard was the ‘closer.’

  • 1972 - After a five-year legal battle, Bernice Gera finally becomes the first woman professional umpire when she works a minor league game in Geneva, New York. When Auburn manager Nolan Campbell vehemently argues a play where she first signals Terry Ford safe at second on a double play and then reverses her decision, the new arbitrator is brought to tears and will resign between games of the twin bill. (1)

Pam Postema no doubt remembers. Gera never wanted to be a pioneer, one article claims. “I was not out there fighting anybody`s cause. I didn’t do what I did because of women’s lib or anything like that,`` Gera says. “I tried for 20 years to get a job in baseball; I just wanted to be affiliated with baseball.”

  • 1995 - The Astros rout the Cubs, 19-6, to set a club record for runs in one game. After scoring a lone tally in the fourth, Houston puts up crooked numbers for the rest of the game, including a nine-run eighth inning. (1)

Box score. Frank Castillo started and allowed three earned runs and four bases on balls in an ineffective outing. Turk Wendell pitched two-thirds of an inning and was unscored upon, while the rest of the staff took it on the chin. Bryan Hickerson allowed nine runs in an inning of work. The other Pedro Martinez pitched out of the bullpen for the Astros, with Shane Reynolds turning in a quality effort. Former Cub Derrick May had two hits and a stolen base.

  • 1998 - Sammy Sosa breaks the major league record for homers in a single month when he hits his 19th dinger in June, a seventh inning solo shot off Brian Moehler in the Cubs’ 6-4 loss to Detroit at Tiger Stadium. The Chicago slugger surpasses the mark set by Rudy York, the Tigers’ rookie catcher who finished with 18 after homering twice on the last day in August in 1937 at the same ballpark when it was known as Navin Field. (1)

Box score. Terry Adams and Terry Mulholland allowed runs in relief, spoiling a decent effort from Kerry Wood. Sosa went on to hit 20 long balls that month.

  • 2007 - A distraught spectator jumps onto the field and charges the mound toward Bob Howry after the Cub reliever blows an 8-3 ninth-inning lead to Colorado at Wrigley Field. The fan will make it within a few feet from his intended target before security guards tackled him, and the right-hander will get the win when Alfonso Soriano hits a game-ending two-run single in the bottom of the frame to give Chicago an improbable 10-9 victory. (1)

Box score. The fan was charged with felony trespassing. Howry was unsympathetic. “It’s his own fault,” Howry said. “If you’re going to be stupid and get drunk and run out onto the field, make an idiot of yourself, you have to deal with the consequences.”


Thanks for reading.