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Baseball history unpacked, May 24

Night-time baseball, Ernaga’s big day, and other stories

Happy birthday, Frank

... 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:

Box score.

  • 1935 - At Crosley Field, the era of nighttime baseball begins as 25,000 fans watch the Reds beat the Phillies 2-1 in the first major league game ever played under the lights. During the pregame ceremonies, President Franklin D. Roosevelt pushes a button at the White House to illuminate the field. (1)

Box score.

  • 1957 - In his first two major league at-bats‚ Cubs rookie Frank Ernaga hits a solo home run in the 2nd inning and follows with a run-scoring triple in the 4th‚ both against Warren Spahn. The Cubs beat the Braves, 5 - 1, at Wrigley Field. Ernaga is the second National League rookie to debut with a triple and homer; he will add just one more homer to his major league career total. (1,3)

Box score.

  • 1969 - For the first time since the start of the season, a span of forty-one games, Don Kessinger does not reach base. The Cubs Gold Glove shortstop grounds out four times and hits into a fly-ball double play in his last at-bat during Chicago’s 7-5 loss to the Padres at San Diego Stadium. (1)

Box score.

  • 2001 - Cincinnati is finally shut out when Cubs’ starter Jon Lieber one-hits the Reds on 79 pitches, 3-0. The span of 208 of games without being blanked establishes a new National League record, with the 1931-33 Yankees (308) and the 1978-79 Milwaukee Brewers (212) being the only teams with longer streaks. (1)

Box score.


Thanks for reading.