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Baseball history unpacked, December 6

Indoor baseball, the Bell toils for thee, RIP Luis Valbuena, and other stories

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... 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:

  • 1914 - In a vision of things to come, an indoor baseball game is played in Chicago, IL to raise money for the family of recently deceased Chicago Cubs third baseman Jim Doyle. (3)
  • 1946 - With the exception of choosing the pitchers, major league baseball agrees to return the selection of the All-Star teams to the fans. In 1933 and 1934, the public selected the 18 starters but beginning in 1935, the manager of each All-Star squad selected the players who would participate in the Midsummer Classic. (1,3)
  • 1959 - The Reds trade Frank Thomas to the Cubs in exchange for reliever Bill Henry. The deal, which also includes Lou Jackson and Lee Walls coming to Cincinnati, gives the team a southpaw out off the bullpen who will save 17 games in the upcoming season. (1,3)
  • 1968 - William Eckert, sometimes referred to as the ‘Unknown Soldier’, resigns as baseball commissioner. The former U.S. Air Force lieutenant general, who served as the game’s fourth commissioner from 1965-68, will be replaced by Bowie Kuhn. (1,3)
  • 1990 - Free agent George Bell signs with the Cubs.
  • 2010 - The Red Sox complete their deal for Adrian Gonzalez by sending minor league right-hander Casey Kelly, first baseman Anthony Rizzo, outfielder Reymond Fuentes, and a player to be named to San Diego for the All-Star first baseman. The left-handed slugger, who is expected to take advantage of the Green Monster’s proximity to home plate, is entering the last year of his contract, and the deal does not include a contract extension to stay in Boston. (1)
  • 2018 - José Castillo, 38, and Luis Valbuena, 33, are both killed in a car crash in their native Venezuela as they are driving home from a winter league game with the Cardenales de Lara. Their car, driven by teammate Carlos Rivero, who survives the accident, apparently hit a rock on the road, placed by bandits who then robbed the passengers. (3)
  • Cubs birthdays: Harry Wolverton, Tony Lazzeri (HoF), Stan Hack, Tommy Brown, Larry Bowa. Also notable: Jocko Conlan (HoF).


*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.