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:
- 1896 - Long before Marvin Miller and Curt Flood attacked the reserve clause, John Montgomery Ward, who has not played or managed for the last two seasons, objects to being reserved by the New York Giants. At the National League meeting in February, his appeal is upheld, and Ward becomes a free agent. (3)
- 1938 - Grover Cleveland Alexander becomes the tenth and only player this year to be elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA. ‘Old Pete’s 373 victories is the record for the most career wins in the National League, which he shares with Christy Mathewson. (1)
- 1994 - Major league owners approve a new revenue-sharing plan keyed to a salary cap, which requires the players’ approval. They will reject it, causing a strike. (3)
- 2002 - Kerry Wood (12-6, 3.36) avoids arbitration, agreeing to a one-year deal with the Cubs believed to be worth between $3.5 and 4 million. The right-handed fireballer, who struck out 217 batters in 174.1 innings, is again eligible for arbitration after each of the next two seasons and can become a free agent following the 2004 season. (1)
- 2009 - The Chicago Cubs send former top prospect Félix Pie to the Baltimore Orioles for Garrett Olson and Henry Williamson.
- 2018 - Ignoring resistance from the Players Association, Commissioner Rob Manfred unilaterally announces two measures to speed up the pace of play: the introduction of a 20-second pitch clock with no runners on base, and a change to the definition of mound visits to include those made by the catcher or by an infielder. Previously, only visits by a manager or coach would count, with the second resulting in the automatic replacement of the pitcher by a reliever. The players’ reluctance is seen as a reaction to the slow free agent market this off-season that has resulted in a number of top-notch players still being unsigned a month before the opening of spring training. On February 19th, the Commissioner will come to an agreement with the MLBPA not to introduce the clock, but to go ahead with other measures to speed up the pace of play. (3)
- Cubs birthdays: Charlie Eden, Babe Twombly, Billy Grabarkewitz, Dave Geisel. Also notable: Curt Flood.
- (1) — The National Pastime.
- (2) — Today in Baseball History.
- (3) — Baseball Reference.
- (4) — Society for American Baseball Research.
- (5) — Baseball Hall of Fame.
Thanks for reading. #Cubsnews