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Baseball history unpacked, July 11

Mighty Casey is stuck on, All-Stars past, and other stories

Home of the Big Gulp Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

A Cubs-centric look at baseball’s past. Just a few items of interest today, but they’re of great interest. Lots of good reading in the links. Here’s a handy Cubs timeline, to help you follow along as we view selected moments gleaned from the rich pageant of Major League baseball history.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1914 - Red Sox hurler Babe Ruth, making his major league debut, beats the Indians, 4-3. Duffy Lewis, pinch-hitting for the 19 year-old rookie southpaw, singles in the seventh inning, giving the future slugger the first of his 94 victories in 140 decisions. (1)

Box score. The immortal Dutch Leonard is credited with the save. Tris Speaker was on that Boston squad. Willie Mitchell took the loss for the Naps, for which the ill-fated Ray Chapman starred. One of their outfielders would come into his own spot of notoriety. See if you can guess.

  • 1944 - At Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field, Phil Cavaretta sets an All-Star Game record by reaching base five consecutive times. The 27 year-old Cub first baseman’s triple, single, and three walks help the National League beat the Junior Circuit, 7-1. (1)

Box score. The NL All-Stars had a DiMaggio (Vince), who was Joe and Dom’s older brother, and guys like Mel Ott and Bill Nicholson, while the other side had Bobby Doerr and Ken Keltner, and it showed.

Vince debuted in Tucson. True Fact. He was a Lizard. Pretty good ballplayer.

  • 1950 - The Midsummer Classic returns to Comiskey Park, the site of the first game, and is won by the National League, 4-3, thanks to Red Schoendienst’s 14th-inning home run. It’s a game of firsts - first extra-inning All-Star Game, first time the NL wins at an AL park, and the first Midsummer Classic ever broadcast on national television. (1)

Box score. When I say that those teams were loaded, I mean they were LOADED. Most All-Star games don’t really have All-Stars at every position, at least not perennial ones. This one did. Two of the other DiMaggio brothers played. The other two didn’t play professional ball, and anyway, they were older than Vince.

  • 1958 - The Los Angeles city council declares today ‘Take Me Out to the Ball Game Day’ to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the iconic baseball song. In a pregame ceremony at the LA Memorial Coliseum, the Dodgers honor lyricist Jack Norworth, presenting him with a lifetime pass to any American or National League game. (1)

Box score.

  • 1960 - Home runs by Ernie Banks and Del Crandall pace the National League to a 5-4 win over the American League at Kansas City’s Municipal Stadium in the first of two All-Star Games. Bob Friend notches his second All-Star win.

Box score. Another group that was just brimming with HoF talent.

  • 1968 - After whiffing in the first inning, Bill Hands grounds outs in his next at-bat, ending his major league record-setting streak for consecutive strikeouts. The Cubs’ right-hander, who goes the distance, blanking New York at Shea Stadium, 2-0, sets the dubious mark when he strikes out in fourteen straight plate appearances. (1)

Box score. The classic Cubs lineup of my childhood.

  • 1996 - The United States Postal Service issues ‘Mighty Casey’’, a commemorative stamp which depicts the title character of Ernest L. Thayer’s immortal poem, ‘Casey at the Bat’. The maligned Mudville outfielder joins Paul Bunyan, John Henry, and Pecos Bill as part of a set commemorating American folk heroes. (1)


Thanks for playing along.