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Baseball history unpacked, April 5

Earl Weaver, Greg Maddux, Ernie Banks, and other characters

2012 Dempster Foundation Casino Night Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images

... 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:

  • 1972 - For the first time in Major League Baseball history, the regular season fails to open due to the player strike which started on April 1st. 86 games will be lost before the labor dispute is settled. (3)
  • 1979 - Oriole manager Earl Weaver notches his 1,000th career victory when Baltimore beats Chicago on Opening Day, 5-3, at Memorial Stadium. The future Hall-of-Fame skipper will finish his 17-year managerial career, all with the Birds, with a 1480-1069 (.583) record. (1)
  • 1993 - On Opening Day, Greg Maddux, signed as a free agent in the offseason, allows no runs and scatters five hits to his former team over 8.1 innings. Mike Stanton gets the last two outs in the Braves’ 1-0 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field. (1)
  • 1997 - Just one day after the stadium’s first game, Turner Field holds its first slumber party. Rain showers force Saturday night’s Cubs-Braves game to be suspended in the seventh inning late Saturday night, but because of the change to daylight saving time and a day game on Sunday, several players decide to spend the night in the clubhouse at the brand-new stadium. The Braves win the completion of the suspended game, 11-5, and then win the regularly scheduled game, 4-0. (2)
  • 2010 - Jason Heyward becomes the eleventh Braves player in franchise history to homer in his first major league at-bat. The much touted 20-year-old rookie, with the hometown fans chanting, “Let’s go, Heyward!”, hits a three-run homer in the first inning off Chicago’s Carlos Zambrano at Turner Field. (1)
  • 2016 - For the first time in more than six decades, the Cubs and White Sox start the same season with two victories and no losses. The last time both Chicago teams were undefeated after two games occurred in 1951, two seasons before Ernie Banks played his rookie year. (1)
  • Cubs birthdays: Chuck Lauer, Jimmie Schaffer, Don Prince, Ron Campbell, Greg Smith, Ross Gload, Ian Stewart, Steve Clevenger.


Thanks for reading. #Cubsnews