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Baseball history unpacked, June 19

Kyle Farnsworth’s greatest hit, and other stories

Do NOT charge the mound
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:

  • 1846 - Alexander Cartwright’s New York Knickerbockers and the New York Nine play the very first organized baseball game. The contest is proclaimed to be the very first ever game played in public using Cartwright’s rules. (Our thanks to Alexander Joy Cartwright IV for sharing this historical fact.) (1)

At the Elysian Fields in Hoboken, NJ, the New York Ball Club defeats the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club, 23 - 1 (some sources say 21 - 1). Alexander Cartwright serves as the umpire, which is curious, as Cartwright is one of the Knickerbockers’ best players. (3)

  • 1952 - Carl Erskine throws a no-hitter against the Cubs in the Dodgers’ 5-0 victory at Ebbets Field. A third-inning walk to the opposing pitcher, which accounts for the only runner to reach base, may have been a result of skipper Chuck Dressen telling the 25-year-old right-hander to speed up his pitches due to an impending storm. (1)

Box score.

  • 1972 - The United States Supreme Court rules against former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Curt Flood, who had sued Major League Baseball over the reserve clause after being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies. The ruling upholds baseball’s antitrust exemption, which was originally granted in 1922. (3)
  • 2003 - Reds hurler Paul Wilson, who is trying to lay down a sacrifice bunt, takes exception to a pitch that moves inside and glances off the catcher’s glove. As the ball is retrieved, he starts jawing with Kyle Farnsworth and then charges the mound, where he is pummeled by the Cubs reliever, igniting a bench-clearing brawl. (1)


Thanks for reading.