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Baseball history unpacked, December 4

Big Lee’s natal anniversary, looks behind the scenes and rules changes

Walks to the mound slowly, one more time
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

... 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*. Beware of rabbit holes.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1943 - On the basis of testimony given by former manager Bucky Harris, who was fired during the season by the Phillies, and other evidence, MLB suspends Philadelphia owner William Cox for life for betting on games played by the team that he owned. The ruling, made at an appeal hearing, makes the youngest owner in the league the first non-player to be banned from baseball by Commissioner Landis, renowned for his zero tolerance for gambling in the sport. (1)
  • 1957 - The major league owners eliminate the bonus rule, an edict that required ‘bonus babies,’ who signed a contract for more than $4,000, to stay on the major league roster for two full seasons. The four year-old regulation created much resentment with teammates, and in many instances delayed the development of talented players. (1,3)
  • 1964 - The owners vote to use a free-agent draft with clubs selecting in the inverse order of the previous year’s standings to choose players every four months. The new system, scheduled to begin next month, is designed to level the playing field by preventing rich clubs, like the Yankees, from using their wealth to lock up all of the talented players. (1,2)
  • 2009 - San Diego names Jason McLeod as the team’s assistant general manager. The former Red Sox director of amateur scouting is hired by the team’s new GM Jed Hoyer, who also comes from Boston and served in the same capacity working as Theo Epstein’s assistant before joining the club. (1)
  • Cubs birthdays: Jim Moroney, Harvey Kuenn, Lee Smith (HoF), Jerome Williams. Also notable: Jesse Burkett (HoF).

Sources:

*We try to vet each item. Please let us know if an item is in error, especially if you have a source.

Thanks for reading.