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Baseball history unpacked, June 7

The first pinch hit, and other stories

Cincinnati Reds v Chicago Cubs
Happy birthday, Luke Farrell!
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:

  • 1892 - Jack Doyle becomes the first player to collect a pinch hit when he singles, coming off the bench to bat for Cleveland hurler George Davies in the Spiders’ 2-1 loss to the Grooms at Brooklyn’s Eastern Park. The 22-year-old utilityman will finish his 17-year career going 3-for-5 (.600) as a pinch-hitter. (1)
  • 1906 - Christy Mathewson and Joe McGinnity give up 11 first-inning runs, allowing the Cubs to rout the Giants, 19-0. Matty, who is probably still suffering the effects of diphtheria contracted in the spring, retires only one batter while issuing six bases-on-balls in the West Side Grounds contest. Jack Pfiester allows just three hits as he coasts to the win, the worst beating in Giants franchise history. (1,3)
  • 1911 - In the 7th inning against the Brooklyn Dodgers, Heinie Zimmerman and Al Kaiser of the Chicago Cubs both steal home - the only time in major league history the Cubs have pulled off the feat. Chicago will swipe home a National League-record 17 times this year.

Box score.

  • 1932 - Pitcher John (Jack) Quinn, at 47, becomes the oldest player to have an extra-base hit (a double) and bat in a run as the Dodgers beat the Cubs 9-2. Julio Franco will break the record over 70 years later. (2,3)

Box score.

  • 1969 - Washington’s D.C. Stadium is officially renamed Robert F. Kennedy Stadium during a memorial service at the ballpark for the slain U.S. senator. In attendance for the ceremony are former NFLer Roosevelt Grier and Olympian Rafer Johnson, both who helped to apprehend RFK’s assassin, Sirhan B. Sirhan, at the Ambassador Hotel. (1)
  • 1998 - After going 6-0 against Atlanta and Florida, the Cubs complete their third consecutive three-game sweep by beating the White Sox, 13-7. The last time Chicago put together a similar streak occurred in 1918. Sammy Sosa and Jose Hernandez each hit three-run home runs and collect five RBI. (1,3)

Box score.

  • 2014 - As part of Wrigley Field’s 100th anniversary, the Cubs honor 97-year-old Lennie Merullo, who receives a rousing ovation when he tosses the ceremonial first pitch prior to the team’s 5-2 victory over the Marlins. The former infielder, who went 0 for 2 when he played in three games for Chicago in the 1945 Fall Classic, was the last living person to play in a World Series game for the franchise. (1)

Box score.


Thanks for reading.