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Baseball history unpacked, May 15

The turn of a friendly Cardwell, and other stories

Don Cardwell

... on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, Bleed Cubbie Blue brings a you 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 pertain to the scenes, such as reproductions of period newspapers, images, and/or other such material as is often found in the wild.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1862 - Baseball’s first enclosed park, the Union Grounds, opens in Brooklyn, NY.
  • 1911 - Ring Lardner writes, “They are using a new ball this year. It’s livelier and that means more hitting, and more hitting means longer games, and that’s the devil. It appears to be impossible to finish a game in less than two hours.” (3)
  • 1912 - After days of taking verbal abuse from Highlander fans at Hilltop Park, Ty Cobb, jumps into the stands near the Tigers dugout and pummels Claude Lueker, who has no fingers on one hand and only two fingers on the other, due to an industrial accident. The “Georgia Peach’ lands at least a dozen punches to the head of the heckler, knocking his victim down, before kicking the hapless fan in the lower body with his spikes. (1)

Box score.

Box score.

  • 1941 - Joe DiMaggio begins his 56-game hitting streak with a hit against White Sox pitcher Edgar Smith. The Yankee outfielder will collect at least one hit in every game until July 17, when his unrivaled accomplishment, which captures the attention of a nation, is stopped in Cleveland with the help of outstanding defensive plays by third baseman Ken Keltner. (1)

Box score.

  • 1960 - After being traded from the Phillies, Don Cardwell no-hits the Cardinals in his Cub debut. Thanks to three outstanding defensive catches, including Walt Moryn’s game-ending grab, the Winston-Salem, NC native becomes the first pitcher to keep the opponents hitless in a first start after being traded. Ernie Banks’ home run paces the 4-0 win, the first no-hitter against the Cards since May 11, 1919. (1,2)

Box score. The second game of a double-header.

  • 1961 - Teammates Felipe and Matty Alou both homer in the Giants’ 14-1 victory over Chicago at Candlestick Park. Felipe’s grand slam in the first inning scores the first four runs of the game, and his younger brother’s puts on the finishing touch of the rout with an eighth-inning round-tripper. (1)

Box score.

  • 1971 - Fergie Jenkins (7-2) pitches and bats the Cubs to a 6 - 4 win over San Diego. Jenkins hits a two-run home run and finishes his 7th game in eight starts. Billy Williams connects for his 300th home run.

Box score.

  • 1997 - In an 8-2 win over San Diego, the Cubs score half their runs when Brian McRae, Doug Glanville, and Sammy Sosa all triple in the bottom of the seventh inning off Friar right-hander Tim Scott. Chicago third baseman Jose Hernandez also chips in with a run-producing three-bagger during the fourth inning of the Wrigley Field contest. (1)

Box score. I remember seeing three consecutive triples by the Cubs a few years earlier. Memory says it was Steve Henderson, Leon Durham, and Jerry Morales, and each triple was dicier than the previous. Morales barely made it in... ah, here it is: Box Score. Bottom of the fourth inning. I wish I had video.


Thanks for reading.