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:
- 1900 - In New York, the National League meets, voting to shrink to eight teams. They pay the Baltimore owners $30,000 for their franchise, with Charles Ebbets and Ned Hanlon reserving the right to sell the players. Cleveland, Louisville, and Washington receive $10,000 each, with Louisville owner Barney Dreyfuss sending most of his players to his Pittsburgh Pirates team. The circuit will remain the same until the Boston Braves move to Milwaukee, WI in 1953. (1)
- 1913 - The Federal League is organized as a six-team outlaw circuit and elects John T. Powers president. It will play 120 games at a level equivalent to the lower minor leagues, but will enhance its status considerably in 1914 to challenge the major leagues. (2)
- 1946 - The first spring training game ever played in Arizona takes place at Tucson’s Hi Corbett Field. The Indians, behind the pitching of Bob Lemon, beat the Giants, 3-1, in the inaugural Cactus League contest. (1)
- 1999 - Hall of Fame centerfielder Joe DiMaggio dies of a lung cancer at age 84. Born in Martinez, California, DiMaggio arrived in the major leagues at the age of 21. He batted .323 in his first season and helped the New York Yankees to the 1936 World Championship. His rookie performance served as an indicator of future success, both for him and the Yankees. During his 13-year career, DiMaggio participated in 10 World Series, with his team winning the Championship nine times. In 1941, DiMaggio achieved his most famous milestone when he compiled a major league record 56-game hitting streak. (3)
- Cubs birthdays: Jim Hughey, George Gerberman, Ryan Freel. Also notable: Dick Allen, Jim Bouton, Jim Rice (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