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Baseball history unpacked, June 10

Put a cork in it, Sammy, Javy goes deep, deep, deep, deep, and other stories

Toronto Blue Jays v Texas Rangers Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

... 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:

  • 1900 - The New York Times publishes a letter to the editor from Joseph Mann regarding Cap Anson’s book A Ballplayers’s Career‚ reviewed a week earlier. Anson’s is the first autobiography by a major league player. According to Mann‚ Anson’s book credits him‚ while a pitcher at Princeton‚ as the first pitcher to throw the curve ball‚ and the pitcher writes to expand on that. He says it was he who should receive credit‚ not Candy Cummings or Charles Avery of Yale‚ who he beat 3 - 0 on May 291875‚ allowing no hits. He relates that in 1874 the Philadelphia team played at Princeton and‚ before the game and between innings Candy Cummings would stand at home plate and throw overhand down to second base curving the ball. Cummings also pitched that day and Mann says that Candy’s catcher said that sometimes Candy’s pitches curved‚ but not always. Mann says that day he got “two base hits and three singles against Cummings” and that he saw no curves‚ but was intrigued by the throws to second base. Mann says he worked on the curve that fall and over the winter unveiling it that spring. Mann ends his letter with: “I think I’ve said enough to establish the fact that I was the one who initiated the movement and revolutionized the pitching department of baseball.” A Mr. Rankin will answer Mann’s claims with a September 26 letter citing newspaper accounts of Alphonse Martin and Candy Cummings throwing curves in 1870. (3)
  • 1902 - Baseball lifer Horace Fogel, also known for his career as a sportswriter, is fired as the manager of the Giants just 44 games into the season. The 51-year-old former skipper, who will go on to an administrative position with the Phillies, will be best remembered in New York for his attempt to turn future Hall of Fame hurler Christy Mathewson, a sophomore pitcher who won 20 games in his rookie year, into a position player. (1)
  • 1944 - Six weeks shy of his 16th birthday, Joe Nuxhall becomes the youngest person to play in a major league contest in this century. After being called in the ninth inning into a 13-0 rout by the Cardinals at Crosley Field, the 15-year-old high school southpaw, who will stay in the Reds organization for over sixty years, becoming best known as the voice for the team’s radio broadcasts, retires the first batter he faces, but is unable to get out of the inning, yielding five walks, two hits, one wild pitch, and five runs. (1)

Box score.

  • 1952 - A few hours after he fires Rogers Hornsby as the manager of the team, Browns president Bill Veeck is given a 24-inch silver trophy by his players with the engraved inscription,” ...for the greatest play since the Emancipation Proclamation”. After the presentation is made by hurler Ned Garver in the Fenway visiting locker room, the team takes the field under their new skipper Marty Marion. (1)
  • 1986 - The N.L. announces that Yale University president A. Bartlett Giamatti will be its next President after Chub Feeney’s retirement in December. (2,3)
  • 2003 - In a game against the Orioles at Camden Yards, Sammy Sosa becomes the target of a man who runs onto the field throwing corks. The Cubs’ slugger had been caught using a corked bat the previous week in a game against the Devil Rays. (1)

Box score. Paul Sullivan wrote it up.

  • 2005 - For the first time in nearly 90 years, the Red Sox play the Cubs at Wrigley Field. The two teams which have had the fates influenced by curses last met in the 1918 World Series, won by Boston behind the solid pitching of Babe Ruth. (1)

Box score. I remember that game, which featured Greg Maddux going deep against John Halama in the sixth and two Jeromy Burnitz homers.


Thanks for reading.