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Baseball history unpacked, June 14

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The first switch-hitter, and other stories

CHICAGO, IL - 1980's: General view as the Chicago Cubs take on the Philadelphia Phillies circa 1980's at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - 1980’s: General view as the Chicago Cubs take on the Philadelphia Phillies circa 1980’s at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/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:

  • 1870 - At the Capitoline Grounds in Brooklyn, the Cincinnati Red Stockings see their 130-game consecutive winning streak (81 official games and 49 exhibitions) come to an end, losing to the Atlantics in extra innings, 8-7. During the game, in an effort not to hit the ball to Harry Wright, the opponents’ slick-fielding shortstop, hometown third baseman, and captain, Bob Ferguson, bats left-handed, becoming the first-known switch-hitter in baseball history. (1,3)
  • 1952 - Warren Spahn, in the Braves’ 3-1 loss to the visiting Cubs, goes the distance, whiffing 18 batters in 15 innings. The Boston southpaw, who homers for the team’s lone run, becomes the sixth pitcher to compile 18 or more strikeouts in a game, but the first hurler who needed extra frames to accomplished the feat. (1,3)

Box score.

  • 1979 - The Giants lose to the Cubs 8-6, but Willie McCovey hits his 513th career home run off Dennis Lamp. McCovey becomes the most prolific lefthanded home run hitter in N.L. history. (1,3)

Box score. The Cubs won 8-6 despite McCovey’s milestone.

  • 1995 - Mike Benjamin goes 6-for-7, five singles and a double, and drives in the winning run in the 13th inning of the Giants’ 4-3 victory over Chicago at Wrigley Field. The Giant third baseman sets a major league record by getting 14 hits in three games. (1)

Box score. Anthony Young took the loss.

  • 2014 - Jimmy Rollins becomes the Phillies’ all-time hits leader when he singles in the fifth against Chicago’s Edwin Jackson for his 2,235th hit for the 132 year-old franchise. At the end of the frame, the 35-year-old switch-hitting shortstop is greeted with a high-five and a hug at first base by Mike Schmidt, the Hall of Famer whose total he surpassed to set the mark, with the entire team than coming out from the Philadelphia dugout to offer their congratulations on the milestone hit. (1)
  • Cubs birthdays: Doc Parker, Hal Manders, Bud Hardin, Jerry Spradlin.

Sources:

Thanks for reading.