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Baseball history unpacked, January 9

The first episode of Home Run Derby, and other stories

T-Mobile Home Run Derby
Not that one, but that was awesome too, so I’m keeping it
Photo by Patrick Smith/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.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1890 - Brooklyn is selected by the American Association as a new franchise. Syracuse, Rochester, and Toledo were selected earlier. However, the Brooklyn team will be transferred to Baltimore before the end of the season. (3)
  • 1892 - Cap Anson is quoted in the New York Clipper as saying that “I don’t care if they can’t field a little bit. In my experience I have found that a man can be taught to almost stop cannon balls, but it is a very difficult task to teach them to line ‘em out.” (3)
  • 1960 - In the first episode of Home Run Derby ever aired, Mickey Mantle overcomes an 8-2 deficit to beat Giants superstar Willie Mays, 9-8, when he goes deep in the bottom of the ninth at LA’s Wrigley Field. The ‘Say Hey Kid,’ who had hit four homers before the Yankee slugger stepped up to the plate, agrees to double their $500 side bet when he is ahead by five runs in the seventh, enabling his opponent to walk away with both the winning and losing share of the contest. (1)
  • 1990 - “No one on either side of the table is pleased by the prospect, but the issue of deadlines is part and parcel of labor negotiations.” — Charles O’Connor, the owners’ chief labor negotiator, addressing the possibility of spring training lockout.

The owners announce a spring training lockout of major league players will begin on February 15 unless there is a new collective bargaining agreement. The work stoppage will occur as scheduled, lasting 32 days, settled when the owners agree to (a) raise their annual pension fund contribution to $55 million, (b) reach an agreement for salary arbitration for 17 percent of the players with between two and three years of experience, (c) and okays an increase of the minimum salary to $100,000. (1)

More fun with videos from C-Span.

  • 2002 - Congressman John Conyers, Jr. of Michigan says Bud Selig should resign because he appeared to violate major league rules in a 1995 loan from a company controlled by the owner of the Minnesota Twins. Conyers, the House Judiciary Committee’s ranking Democrat says the loan created an “irreparable conflict of interest” for Selig in his plan to fold two franchises, a proposal that most likely would include the Twins.” Selig rejects the suggestion saying, “The suggestions made in your letter are wholly unacceptable.” (3)
  • Cubs Birthdays: Joe Wallis, Ivan de Jesus.


Thanks for reading. #Cubsnews