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Baseball history unpacked, February 1

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Jim Thorpe, Happy Chandler, the advent of the Luxury Tax, and other stories

Cleveland Indians v Kansas City Royals
baseballs, unpacked
Photo by Brian Davidson/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. It’s all lightly unpacked and tidied up, just for you.

You might learn something, but mostly, it’s for fun!

Today in baseball history:

  • 1913 - Olympic hero Jim Thorpe, turning down an offer from the last-place Browns, signs with the Giants, the defending NL champs. The Native American, who grew up in the Sac and Fox Nation in Oklahoma, will compile a lifetime .252 batting average during his six seasons in the major leagues, which also includes stints with the Reds and Braves. (1)
  • 1914 - In the very first game ever to take place in the Egyptian desert, the White Sox and Giants play to a 3-3 tie. The contest is part of a 56-game world tour, which also includes stops in Tokyo, Paris, and London, organized by New York manager John McGraw and Chicago owner Charles Comiskey to promote the sport of baseball on a global scale. (1)
  • 1947 - Commissioner Happy Chandler announces the creation of a pension plan for major league players. Players who have accumulated five seasons in the major leagues will receive $50 a month starting at the age of 50. For each year of additional service, a player will receive an extra $10 per month, up to a maximum of $100. (3)
  • 1962 - The N.L. releases its first 162-game schedule. (2)
  • 1995 - Talks resume between the major league owners and the Players’ Association in attempt to resolve the on-going strike. The owners agree to drop their demand for a salary cap, replacing it with a proposal for a luxury tax.
  • Cubs birthdays: Lew Brown, Walt Golvin, Carl Reynolds, Vince Barton, Kent Mercker, Phil Norton, Austin Jackson, Brett Anderson.


Thanks for reading. #Cubsnews