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Baseball history unpacked, January 30

Intentional walks, rosin bags, Little League, Carlos Correa, and other stories

Pittsburgh Pirates v Chicago Cubs Photo by Jon Durr/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:

  • 1926 - The possible elimination of the intentional walk is discussed by the Commission on Rules of the Major Leagues, but the group takes no action. The purposeful base on balls requiring the pitchers to toss four pitches will remain part of the game until the start of 2017 season when the strategy will be invoked automatically by a dugout signal from the manager. (1)
  • 1926 - The Major League Rules Committee agrees that pitchers may have access to a rosin bag. On February 8, the American League will refuse to permit its use, but on April 28th, the league will give in and allow a rosin bag on the field, but discourage its use by players. The Committee also discusses the possible elimination of the intentional walk, a topic that has come up before, by making the pitcher throw to the batter. Calling a balk on the catcher if he steps out of his box has not eliminated the intentional walk as intended. No action is taken, however. (3)
  • 1952 - The Little League moves their headquarters to Williamsport, PA, with Peter J. McGovern becoming the circuit’s first full-time president. In November of 1955, Carl Stotz, who started the youth baseball program 28 years earlier, will have substantial differences with the increasing commercialization of the organization, causing the L.L.B. Inc. Board to remove him from his position as commissioner. (1)
  • 1958 - Commissioner Ford Frick announces that players and coaches, rather than the fans, will vote on selections for the All-Star Game. The vote will not return to the fans until 1970, when Commissioner Bowie Kuhn reverses Frick’s action. The decision is a reaction to alleged ballot box stuffing by Cincinnati fans before last year’s All-Star Game. (1)
  • 1987 - The Cubs trade veteran third baseman Ron Cey for the A’s infielder Luis Quinones. Oakland releases the ‘Penguin’ after he plays 45 games for the team, and the 39 year-old retires with a .261 lifetime batting average after spending 17 years in the major leagues. (1)
  • 2006 - The Cubs and Jerry Hairston Jr. (.261, 4, 30) avoid salary arbitration when the second baseman/outfielder agrees to a one-year, $2.3 million deal. The 29-year-old Illinois native was acquired from the Orioles last February for slugger Sammy Sosa. (1)
  • 2011 - The Cubs sign two Cuban defectors who once played for the junior national team, OF Rubi Silva and C Yaniel Cabeza, both 21 and already veterans of the Serie Nacional. (3)
  • 2017 - As the result of ruling handed down by commissioner Rob Manfred, the Cardinals will relinquish their top two picks in this year’s amateur draft and pay the Astros $2 million as punishment for hacking into Houston’s email system and scouting database. Chris Correa, the former Redbirds scouting director, who pled guilty in federal court to five counts of unauthorized access of a protected computer, is placed on baseball’s permanently ineligible list, after being sentenced to serve 46 months in prison. (1)
  • Cubs birthdays: Doc Watson, Vin Campbell, Davey Johnson, Matt Alexander.

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