A wildly popular Cubs-centric look at baseball’s past. Here’s a handy Cubs timeline, to help you follow along as we review select scenes from the rich tapestry of Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball history. Today we have three days’ worth of factoids for you fanatical followers. No advanced metrics were harmed in the weaving of this article.
Today in baseball history:
- 1907 - A match-up of Three Finger Brown and Christy Mathewson attracts a crowd of 20,000 at the Polo Grounds. Matty is unhittable for eight innings, with only a bunt single for the Cubs. But Chicago scores two in the 9th to tie as reliever Jack Pfiester matches Matty for the last three innings. Johnny Kling wins it, 3 - 2, for the Cubs in the 12th with a drive into the LF bleachers. (3)
- 1920 - Cleveland shortstop Ray Chapman dies as a result of being hit by a pitch thrown by Yankee submariner Carl Mays. The tragedy remains the only on-field fatality of a player in major league history. (1)
He had actually been hit the day before. Chapman was a star with the Indians. “One of the most popular players in Cleveland Indians history, Chapman was a gifted storyteller who played the piano and once won an amateur singing contest.”
- 1932 - The Cubs and the Braves play 19 innings, the longest game of the season, with Chicago winning 3 - 2. Guy Bush wins in relief. The following day he will again beat the Braves with a brief extra-inning outing. (3)
- 1913 - The Cubs stroke nine straight hits, that includes six singles, two doubles, and a home run, off reliever Erskine Mayer in the top of the ninth inning at the Baker Bowl. Chicago’s late offensive barrage produces six runs, helping the team to coast to an easy 10-4 victory over the Phillies. (Many sites erroneously list this game as being played on August 19, with Grover Alexander giving up the big inning.) (1)
- 1959 - Branch Rickey resigns as chairman of the Pirates to become president of the Continental League, which never plays a game. (2)
- 1982 - The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 2-1 in a 21-inning game. It was the second longest game in Cubs’ history and took two days to complete. (2)
Box score. Jerry Reuss got the win over Doug Bird. Third baseman Ryne Sandberg doubled for the Cubs’ only extra-base hit. Pedro Guerrero drove in five runs with two homers and a double for the Dodgers.
- 1989 - With his third-inning single off Jim Clancy, Jerome Walton extends his consecutive-game hitting streak to 28 games in a 6-5 loss to Houston at the Astrodome. The 24 year-old freshman outfielder ties a modern Cubs’ record established by Ron Santo in 1966. (1)
- Cubs birthdays: Eddie Hickey, William Marriott, Mandy Brooks, Bernie Friberg, Bob Humphries, Paul Popovich, Justin Wilson. Also notable: Burleigh Grimes, Roberto Clemente (HoF)
- 1951 - Forty-three inch tall Eddie Gaedel walks on four pitches in his only major league appearance. Bill Veeck’s idea of playing the midget was legal at the time but is later outlawed. (1)
- 1965 - At Wrigley Field, Reds’ hurler Jim Maloney no-hits the Cubs 1-0 with the only run scoring on a Leo Cardenas homer in the tenth inning. Earlier in the season, the Fresno native had also no-hit the Mets for ten innings, but lost the game in the eleventh when Johnny Lewis homered. (1)
- 1969 - At Wrigley Field, Ken Holtzman no-hits the Braves, 3-0, with Ron Santo’s first-inning three-run homer off Phil Niekro providing all of the Cubs’ runs. The no-hitter is the fifth of the season, and the first since 1923 in which no strikeouts are recorded, when Sad Sam Jones accomplished the feat with the Yankees. (1)
- 1970 - Fergie Jenkins homers and his teammates add another six as Chicago coasts over San Diego, 12 - 2. Jim Hickman (2), Glenn Beckert, Johnny Callison, Joe Pepitone, and Billy Williams also hit round trippers for Chicago. Six of the Cub homers are solo shots and San Diego adds a solo homer: the seven solo homers by two teams sets a National League record and ties the major league mark set on April 29, 1962. (3)
- 2011 - Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts fires general manager Jim Hendry, the man who brought the perennial losers within five outs of the World Series in 2003 and built back-to-back division winners in 2008 and 2009, after 9 years on the job. Hendry’s success was achieved at the cost of a massive payroll, however, and the team is now on the hook for a number of expensive contracts to underachieving former stars, while headed for a second consecutive 5th-place finish. His players send Hendry out a winner as pinch-hitter Tyler Colvin hits a walk-off single in the 10th inning to give the Cubs a 5 - 4 win over the Cardinals on his last day. Assistant GM Randy Bush is named to take over in the interim but is not in line to succeed Hendry.
- Cubs birthdays: Ike McAuley, Tex Carleton, Tim Blackwell, Gary Gaetti, Matt Franco, Rocky Cherry.
- (1) — The National Pastime.
- (2) — Today in Baseball History.
- (3) — Baseball Reference.
- (4) — Society for American Baseball Research.
Please note that quotes may have been corrected for spelling and/or grammarical errata. Thanks for playing along.