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Baseball history unpacked, December 9

Sutter and Maddux leave; Pena arrives, and other stories

Chicago Cubs v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by Victor Decolongon/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*. Beware of rabbit holes.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1913 - On the same day its owner Charles Ebbets is elected to the National League Board of Directors, the Dodgers offer the Reds $35,000 for Joe Tinker. The 33-year-old shortstop will jump to the Federal League as a player-manager of the Chicago Whales for $12,000 when Brooklyn delays meeting his salary demands of being paid a ‘commission’ of $10,000 of his final sale price of $25,000. (1)
  • 1955 - The Dodgers send P Russ Meyer to the Cubs for P Don Elston and cash. Meyer has the best record in history against the Cubs, at one point going 22-1 against them. (3)
  • 1975 - The colorful Bill Veeck returns. A group headed by him buys 80 percent of the White Sox from John Allyn. (3)
  • 1980 - The Cubs trade reliever Bruce Sutter, the 1979 National League Cy Young Award winner, to the Cardinals for 3B Ken Reitz, OF-1B Leon Durham, and a player to be named.. The future Hall of Fame closer will lead the league in saves in three of the four seasons he is with St. Louis. (1,3)
  • 1992 - Free-agent Greg Maddux signs the richest guaranteed contract ever given to a pitcher, a five-year, $28 million contract with the Braves. The current Cy Young Award winner leaves the Cubs, his team for the previous seven seasons, after contract talks become contentious. (1)
  • 2010 - The Cubs sign free-agent Carlos Pena to a $10 million, one-year deal. The former Tampa Bay slugger, spurning several multi-year offers from other clubs, is optimistic of having a big season in Chicago, allowing his agent Scott Boras to negotiate a long-term contract for similar money being made by fellow first basemen Ryan Howard ($125 million/5 years) and Mark Teixeira ($180 million/8 years). (1)
  • 2014 - One day after their south side rivals, it’s the Cubs’ turn to steal the headlines at the winter meetings in San Diego, CA. First, they sign highly sought-after free agent P Jon Lester to a six-year deal worth $155 million, and then they acquire C Miguel Montero from Arizona for minor leaguers Jeferson Mejia and Zack Godley. (3)
  • 2015 - Major League Baseball issues a recommendation for all its 30 teams to install netting to protect their fans who are sitting in front of the most exposed field-level seats. The suggested protective shield, which would extend from one dugout to the other, will be implemented by most of the clubs before opening day, with the Mets, Pirates and Twins already in compliance, having netting down the first- and third-base lines. (1)
  • Cubs birthdays: Mike Mitchell, Darold Knowles, Rick Bladt, Steve Christmas, Mike Fyhrie, Todd Van Poppel. Also notable: Joe Kelley (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.