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:
- 1902 - A Chicago Daily News headline reads, ‘Manager of the Cubs is in Doubt Only on Two Positions,’ marking the first time that the team’s nickname has appeared in print. Although the moniker has been around since 1890, the Orphans, also once known as the Colts and White Stockings, will not officially adopt the Cubs as its new name until 1907. (1)
- 1973 - Twins’ pitcher Jim Perry becomes the first player to use the ‘10 and 5 rule’ when he okays his own trade to the Tigers for minor league pitcher Dan Fife and cash. During his one season in Detroit, Gaylord’s brother will post a 14-13 (.519) record along with an ERA of 4.03 in 35 appearances with the team. (1)
- 1984 - The Philadelphia Phillies trade outfielders Gary Matthews and Bob Dernier and pitcher Porfi Altamirano to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for pitcher Bill Campbell and catcher Mike Diaz. Matthews was named the NLCS Most Valuable Player last season, while Campbell led the National League with 82 pitching appearances. Dernier will win a Gold Glove for Chicago and help them reach the playoffs. His 45 stolen bases will be the most by a Cubs player since 1907. (3)
- 1993 - The Chicago Cubs put second baseman Ryne Sandberg (broken hand) and shortstop Shawon Dunston (lower back) on the disabled list. The two will miss Opening Day for the first time in nine years together.
- 2002 - The Cubs, in desperate need of a closer due to Tom Gordon’s muscle tear, trade righties Julian Tavarez (10-9, 4.52) and Jose Cueto as well as southpaw Dontrelle Willis and catcher Ryan Jorgensen to the Marlins for Antonio Alfonseca (4-4, 28 saves) and right-hander Matt Clement (9-10, 5.05). Willis, next season’s Rookie of the Year in the National League, will become a twenty-game winner for the Fish in 2005. (1)
- 2011 - Cubs P Carlos Silva fails in his bid to become the team’s fifth starter, but says he will refuse an assignment to the minor leagues and makes disparaging remarks about pitching coach Mark Riggins. This pushes the Cubs to release him and swallow $8.5 million for the two years remaining on his contract, while the Seattle Mariners, who traded Silva to the Cubs before the 2010 season, are on the hook for another $5.5 million. Silva has a 10.90 ERA in spring training after a terrible second half last year, and made headlines earlier for getting into a fight in the dugout with 3B Aramis Ramirez. (3)
- Cubs birthdays: Bill Collins, Johnny Gill, Walter Stephenson, Newt Kimball, Wes Covington, Vic Harris, Lynn McGlothen, Dick Ruthven, Drew Hall, Jaime Navarro, Junior Lake. Also notable: Miller Huggins (HoF).
- (1) — The National Pastime.
- (2) — Today in Baseball History.
- (3) — Baseball Reference.
- (4) — Society for American Baseball Research.
- (5) — Baseball Hall of Fame.
Thanks for reading. #Cubsnews