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Baseball history unpacked, February 13

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Rest in peace, Ken Hubbs, and other stories

1964 Ken Hubbs card from Topps

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:

  • 1914 - The Cubs exchange second basemen with the Braves, sending future Hall of Famer Johnny Evers to Boston for Bill Sweeney. Boston gets the better of the deal when their new middle infielder plays a pivotal role in the club’s World Championship this season, garnering the Chalmers Award as the Most Valuable Player of the league. (1)
  • 1935 - Former major league journeyman Gus Dugas, a French-Canadian obtained from by the Montreal Royals from Albany of the International League in November, signs his contract while visiting relatives in his native province of Quebec. The French language contract is a first in the history of professional baseball. (1)
  • 1953 - The Philadelphia Athletics change the name of Shibe Park to Connie Mack Stadium in honor of their longtime owner and manager. (2)
  • 1964 - At the age of twenty-two, Cubs’ second baseman Ken Hubbs dies when the red and white Cessna 172 plane he is piloting crashes a quarter mile south of Bird Island in Utah Lake during a winter storm. The 1962 National League Rookie of the Year took flying lessons for the past two off-seasons to overcome his fear of flying, obtaining his license last month. (1)
  • 1974 - Cool Papa Bell is named to the Hall of Fame by the Special Committee on the Negro Leagues. Bell started in the Negro Leagues as a pitcher, but was moved to center field to take advantage of his blinding speed. He helped the St. Louis Stars and Homestead Grays win three titles apiece. (2)

Bell was said to be so fast that he could turn off the lights and be in bed before it was dark. Barry Allen has a jealous.

Sources:

Thanks for reading. #Cubsnews