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Baseball history unpacked, July 12

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‘Baseball’s Sad Lexicon’, all ‘Dahl’ed up, and other poetry in motion

Disco Demolition Night
Dahl parts
Photo by Paul Natkin/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:

  • 1890 - Appearing in his only major league game, Mr. Lewis (first name unknown) yields 13 hits, walks seven batters, and allows 20 earned runs during the three innings of his major league debut at Brooklyn’s Eastern Park. The rookie’s performance contributes to the last place Buffalo Bisons’ 28-16 loss to the Wonders in the Players’ League contest. (1)
  • 1901 - At Boston’s Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds, Cy Young of the Americans seven-hits the A’s, 5-3, to win his 300th victory. The 34 year-old will win an additional 211 games to establish an amazing major league record of 511 career victories. (1)
  • 1910 - The legendary verse detailing the Cubs’ double-play combination of Tinker to Evers to Chance, entitled That Double Play Again, is published for the first time. When the ‘New York Evening Mail’ republishes the same poem six days later, the newspaper will use the title by which the poem is best known today, Baseball’s Sad Lexicon. (1)

Franklin Pierce Adams

Baseball’s Sad Lexicon

These are the saddest of possible words:

“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,

Tinker and Evers and Chance.

Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,

Making a Giant hit into a double—

Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:

“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”

  • 1931 - After setting a major league record in the first game with nine doubles, the Cubs and Cardinals combined to hit another twenty-three two-baggers in the second game for an incredible total of thirty-two doubles in their doubleheader. (1)

Box scores: Game one. Game two.

  • 1945 - Tommy Holmes goes 0-for-4 in the Braves’ 6-1 loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field to end his consecutive-game hitting streak at 37, which sets a modern National League record. The mark will stand for 33 years until Pete Rose surpasses it in 1978 en route to establishing a new standard of 44, but the Reds’ infielder’s effort remains a game shy of the all-time record set by Willie Keeler’s 45-game streak over the 1896 and 1897 seasons with the NL’s Baltimore Orioles. (1,3)

Box score.

  • 1949 - The major league owners agree to install warning tracks made of cinders in front of outfield fences before the start of next season. The origin of the concept began at Yankee Stadium, where an actual running track, used in the ballpark’s track and field events, helped fielders know their proximity to the outfield fence when attempting to make a play. (1,3)
  • 1979 - After a delay of an hour and 16 minutes, the White Sox are forced to forfeit the second game of a twi-night doubleheader against the Tigers when over 5000 adolescent fans refuse to leave the field during Disco Demolition Night. Mike Veeck’s promotion involves admitting fans for 98 cents with a disco record, collecting the vinyl and then literally blowing up the LPs and .45s in center field. (1)
  • 1987 - The Yankees trade P Bob Tewksbury and two minor league pitchers to the Cubs for Steve Trout, who has just pitched back-to-back shutouts. (3)
  • 1992 - In the Braves’ 7-4 victory over Chicago at Wrigley Field, Jeff Blauser becomes the fourth shortstop to hit three home runs in a game, joining the ranks of Ernie Banks (Cubs, 1955), Barry Larkin (Reds, 1991), and Fred Patek (Angels, 1980). The Atlanta infielder had hit only 39 homers in the past six seasons. (1,3)

Box score.

  • 1995 - In a scene reminiscent to yesteryear, the first basemen leave their mitt in the field between innings throughout Montreal’s 3-2 victory over the Cubs. The Expos’ first baseman David Segui is really sharing his glove with Chicago’s Mark Grace, whose equipment did not arrive at Olympic Stadium due to a shipping error. (1,3)

Box score.

Sources:

Thanks for reading.