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Baseball history unpacked, January 28

The Wright stuff, Campanella’s crash, and other stories

Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Ken Levine/Getty Images

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. It’s all lightly unpacked and tidied up, just for you.

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

Today in baseball history:

  • 1888 - In Chicago, IL, 350 fans brave the weather to watch a baseball game on ice at Lincoln Park. Second baseman Fred Pfeffer of the Chicago White Stockings plays wearing a top hat. After two hours and five innings of play, the game is called. The “Spaldings” defeat the “North-Siders”, 7-6.
  • 1953 - Fred Saigh is found guilty of income tax evasion and is sentenced to a fifteen-month jail term, but will serve only five months at the federal prison in Terre Haute before being given parole for good behavior. The embattled Cardinal owner, under pressure of his franchise being taken away by MLB, puts in place a lucrative deal with a consortium that plans to move the team to Houston, but is persuaded to sell the team for less ($3.5 million) to Gussie Busch, when the Anheuser-Busch president persuades him that civic pride was more important than financial gain. (1)
  • 1958 - Roy Campanella, driving home from his liquor store in Harlem, breaks his neck when his rented 1957 Chevrolet sedan hit a telephone pole in an early morning auto accident on Long Island. The 36-year-old Dodger catcher, who has won three MVP awards (1951, ‘53, ‘55) will remain paralyzed for the rest of his life. (1)
  • 1968 - Goose Goslin, a former Senator and Tiger outfielder who retired with a career .316 batting average after playing in five World Series, and Kiki Cuyler, a .321 career hitter who won four stolen base crowns while running the bases for the Pirates and Cubs, are elected into the Hall of Fame by a unanimous vote of the Veterans Committee. Goslin believed his enshrinement in Cooperstown was helped by his interview that was shared in Lawrence Ritter’s 1966 book, The Glory of Their Times: The Story Of The Early Days Of Baseball Told By The Men Who Played It. (I recommend this book) (1)
  • 2009 - Aaron Heilman is traded for the second time this offseason when the Mariners swap the 30-year-old right-hander to the Cubs for utility infielder Ronny Cedeno and southpaw Garrett Olson. Seven weeks ago, the Mets dealt the much-maligned reliever to Seattle as part of a three-team trade that included the Indians. (1)
  • Cubs birthdays: Bob Muncrief, Wesley Wright. Also notable: George Wright (HoF)


Thanks for reading. #Cubsnews