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Baseball history unpacked, June 6

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Fog out, the day after the day after corkgate, and other stories

Miniature of Ebbets Field and Display
Mini-Ebbets Field

Last time around, we unpacked Three Bells, the day after corkgate, and other bullets. The penalty for corkgate was passed down on this day in baseball history, the league first fog out happened, and the rest is lost to the dim mists of prehistory.

Not so much to unpack but some neat items, and also former Cub two-way player Brooks Kieschnick’s natal anniversary is celebrated today.

Here’s a handy Cubs timeline.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1892 - At Washington, D.C.’s Boundary Field, Benjamin Harrison becomes the first U.S. president to attend a major league baseball game. The Commander-in-Chief watches Cincinnati defeat the Senators, presently the last-place team in the National League, 7-4 in 11 innings. (1)
Boundary Field
  • 1920 - The Cardinals play their last game at Robison Field (renamed Cardinal Field in 1917), their home field since 1893, beating the Cubs, 5-2. One of Sam Breadon’s first decisions as the team’s new owner will be to agree to a ten-year lease for $20,000 annually, allowing his team to move six blocks to share Sportsman’s Park with the Browns, and allowing him to use the money from the sale of the aging ballpark to finance Branch Rickey’s idea of establishing a farm system by investing in a club affiliation with a minor league team in Houston, Texas. (1)

We’ve covered that last previously — it led to the Cardinals having their own farm system when nobody else did. Box score. Fred Merkle, Rogers Hornsby, and Joe Schultz were in this game.

Robison Field
  • 1957 - After an 86-minute delay, the first fog out in major league history occurs at Ebbets Field when the umpires call off the Dodgers’ game against the Cubs due to extremely poor visibility. Brooklyn has a 1-0 lead when the game is postponed with one out in the bottom of the second inning. (1)

Of course there’s no box score. Probably for the best — the Cubs were 13-28 (.317) with 164 runs for and 225 against at that point, and it wasn’t going to get much better.

  • 2003 - Insisting the corked bat, designed to put on home run displays during batting practice, was accidentally used in the Devil Rays’ game, Cubs’ slugger Sammy Sosa is suspended for eight games by Major League Baseball. Bob Watson, baseball’s vice president of on-field operations, agreed the Chicago outfielder’s use of an illegal bat was an “isolated incident,” but one that still deserved a penalty. (1)

Here’s Chris Jaffe’s writeup of the incident, and some video. Pedro Martinez had his own thoughts about it. So did Joe Morgan.

Sources:

Thanks for reading.