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Baseball history unpacked, February 27

Rules, grievances, the original Boss, and other stories

Effa Manley, the Boss

... as always on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, I bring 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:

  • 1901 - The National League Rules Committee decrees that all foul balls are to count as strikes, except after two strikes. To cut the cost of lost foul balls, the committee urges that batsmen who foul off good strikes are to be disciplined. The American League will not adopt this rule for several years. Other new rules: catchers must play within 10 feet of the batter; a ball will be called if the pitcher does not throw to a ready and waiting batter within 20 seconds, and players using indecent or improper language will be banished by the umpire. A ball will be called when a batter is hit by a pitch, but, in a mail vote, the owners will rescind this in April, and a HBP will earn a batter first base. (3)
  • 1908 - The sacrifice fly rule is adopted. No time at bat is charged if a run scores after the catch of a fly ball. The rule will be repealed in 1931, then reinstated (or changed) several times before gaining permanent acceptance in 1954. (3)
  • 1912 - The Yankees announce they will begin wearing pinstripes on their uniforms. The new look will take a few seasons before the vertical lines become a reality, making their first appearance in a 5-1 loss to Washington during the team’s home opener in 1915. (1)
  • 2006 - Effa Manley is among the 17 significant historical figures from the Negro Leagues elected by a select committee for induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The former Newark Eagles executive, known as the Boss, will become the first woman to be enshrined in Cooperstown. (1)
  • 2018 - The MLBPA files a grievance against four teams - the Marlins, Rays, Pirates and A’s - accusing them of not investing the money they are obtaining through revenue sharing in the on-field product, as is specified in the Collective Bargaining Agreement. This action is the latest salvo in a war of words between players and ownership that was started by the slow free agent market, resulting in over 100 players still being unsigned when spring training opened two weeks ago. (3)
  • Cubs birthdays: Bud Teachout, Leroy Herrmann, Sammy Taylor, Carl Warwick, Ron Hassey, Matt Stairs, Willie Banks, Craig Monroe. RIP Duke Snider.


Thanks for reading. #Cubsnews