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Baseball history unpacked, November 15

Maddon, Sandberg, Ball Four, and other stories

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Jim Bouton
Bouton bubblegum
Photo by Yvonne Hemsey/Getty Images

... on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, Bleed Cubbie Blue brings a you a lighthearted 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.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1886 - In the first major league trade ever, the Cincinnati Red Stockings of the American Association deal rookie catcher Jack Boyle and $400 to the St. Louis Browns for outfielder Hugh Nicol. (1,3)
  • 1888 - In Los Angeles, the All-Americans of Al Spalding beat Chicago, 7-4, in the final game on American soil of Chicago’s world tour. Spalding’s group now sets sail for Australia. (3)
  • 1945 - The rules are revised for election of modern players to the Hall of Fame. A runoff election is formulated as a way to qualify more players for selection, but it fails to meet its objective as no one reaches the 75 percent requirement in the runoff. Former players Frank Chance, Johnny Evers and Ed Walsh and former manager Miller Huggins come closest. (3)
  • 1968 - Jim Bouton agrees to a one-year deal worth $22,000 to play for the expansion Pilots, who had purchased the right-hander from New York last month for $20,000 with his previous team agreeing to pick up $12,000 of the salary. The knuckleballer will use his tenure with the club, and his experiences with the Astros after being traded to Houston, to chronicle the 1969 season, along with stories from his Yankee years, in his groundbreaking book, Ball Four, a publication which will not endear him to the baseball community. (1)

Mark Armour has a good article about Ball Four. I hope you’ve read it. Bouton passed earlier this year. He had this to say not long before that.

  • 2005 - The players’ association and owners agree to toughen the current penalties (10 days-first offense, 30 days-second offense, and 60 days for the third time) for the use of steroids, using a 50-game suspension for a first offense, 100 games for a second, and a lifetime ban for a third. The agreement also adds the much-needed testing for amphetamines, which will result in mandatory additional testing for first-time positives, with a second offense drawing a 25-game suspension, and a third offense leading to an 80-game banishment. (1,3)

ESPN had this to say at the time. The DEA also instituted new policies that year. The extraordinarily patient may like this.

  • 2005 - Joe Maddon, becoming the fourth manager in the team’s brief history, is selected by the Devil Rays to replace Lou Piniella. The former Angels bench coach believes, despite the club’s poor record and having the lowest payroll in baseball, the young talented team, based on his computer-generated analysis, can start a winning tradition in Tampa Bay. (1)
  • 2010 - Ryne Sandberg, returning to the organization that gave him his professional start, is hired to manage the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Phillies. The diplomatic Hall of Fame second baseman, a finalist to replace Lou Piniella as the Cubs manager, decided it would be in the best interest of everyone involved not to continue managing in the Chicago minor league system. (1)
  • Cubs Birthdays: Pete Childs, Pat Ragan, Mickey Livingston,


Thanks for reading.