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Baseball history unpacked, March 13

The Butler did it, and other stories

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Texas Rangers Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball history marches forth ... as always on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 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 folded neatly, just for you.

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

Today in baseball history:

1915 - “Help me, Lads, I’m covered with my own blood!” - Wilbert Robinson’s reaction before quickly realizing the fluid dripping down from his chest is grapefruit juice.

Dodger manager Robinson, thinking he is going to catch a baseball dropped from a plane, is surprised and splattered when the sphere turns out to be a grapefruit. Although legend has it that Casey Stengel is behind the prank, the pilot, Ruth Law, a pioneer in American aviation, substituted part of her lunch when she realized she forgot to bring a baseball. (1)

  • 1953 - Braves owner Lou Perini announces he will seek permission from the National League to move his franchise from Boston to Milwaukee. The day will become known as “Black Friday” in Beantown. (3)
  • 1960 - The Chicago White Sox unveil an important uniform innovation. The Sox’s road uniforms feature players’ names on the backs of the jerseys, marking the first time that players’ names will appear on major league uniforms. The innovation will make it easier for fans watching games on television to identify the players on the field. The idea is yet another creation of colorful White Sox owner and innovator Bill Veeck. (3)
  • Cubs birthdays: Mal Eason, Chippy Gaw, Eddie Butler. Also notable: Frank “Home Run” Baker (HoF)


Thanks for reading. #Cubsnews