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Baseball history unpacked, January 16

Dizzy’s natal anniversary, and other stories

Busch Stadium
Dizzy Dean

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. The embedded links often point to articles that I’ve chosen as illustrative of the scenes, from The Society for American Baseball Research, reproductions of period newspapers, images, and other such material.

You might learn something, but mostly, it’s for fun!

Today in baseball history:

  • 1891 - A new national agreement is signed by the National League, American Association, and the Western Association that creates a three-man panel to settle disputes among the leagues. Two days ago, the NL owners voted to allow the American Association to place a team in Boston, despite the emphatic opposition from the owners of the Boston Beaneaters, the existing NL franchise in town. (1)
  • 1960 - The Cubs trade Alvin Dark, along with John Buzhardt and Jim Woods, to the Phillies in exchange for Richie Ashburn. After a slow start in Philadelphia, the ‘Swamp Fox’ is dealt to the Braves, where the veteran infielder will hit .298 for Boston before retiring as a player at the end of the season to become the skipper for the Giants, the team which he served as the captain during their World Championship campaigns of 1951 and 1954. (1)
  • 1970 - Gold Glove outfielder Curt Flood files a lawsuit challenging the reserve clause, which binds major league players to teams perpetually. Flood had been traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Philadelphia Phillies on October 7, 1969, but has refused to report to the Phillies. Flood contends that the reserve clause violates antitrustlaws. He will lose the suit but the judge will suggest changes to the reserve system, opening the door for salary arbitration and free agency.(3)
  • 2003 - The owners, in an effort to restore the competitive edge to the All-Star Game, unanimously approve the home-field advantage during the World Series will be awarded to the team representing the winning league of the Midsummer Classic. Approval is needed by the players to change the current rotation between the two leagues, which was put in place since its inception of the World Series in 1903. (1)
  • 2008 - A former 20-game winner with the team, Jon Lieber (3-6, 4.73) signs a $3.5 million, one-year deal with the Cubs. The right-handed veteran, who played with the Phillies for the past three years, missed most of last season due to surgery needed to repair a ruptured tendon in his foot. (1)
  • 2014 - Expanded instant replay, a concept previously agreed to by the Players Association and World Umpires Association, is unanimously approved at the quarterly Owners Meetings. Each manager will begin a game with one challenge, and beginning in the top of the seventh, the crew chief will also be able to initiate a review from the Replay Command Center at MLB Advanced Media headquarters in New York. (1)
  • 2017 - The World Champion Cubs are welcomed at the White House by President Barack Obama, a noted White Sox patron who is offered a midnight pardon by Chicago GM Theo Epstein for his partisanship, and his wife Michelle, a fan of the Northside team. The Commander in Chief, in addition to receiving No. 44 jerseys from his fellow No. 44, Anthony Rizzo, is given a lifetime pass to any Cubs game, a gift the First Lady will probably appreciate more than her husband. (1)


Thanks for reading. #Cubsnews