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Baseball history unpacked, August 16

The sad story of Ray Chapman, Happy birthday to Yu, and other tales

and Yu are one, too
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

... 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 - It’s a bad day for Pittsburgh’s Bill Phillips as he becomes the first pitcher in major league history to give up two grand slams in one inning. Tom Burns and Malachi Kittridge each hit one in the fifth inning en route to an 18-5 victory at Chicago’s West Side Park. (2)
  • 1920 - Cleveland SS Ray Chapman, 29, is beaned by a Carl Mays pitch. A righthanded batter who crowds the plate, Chapman freezes and fails to get out of the way of the submarine delivery. He is carried from the field and dies the next day from a fractured skull. Mays, a surly, unpopular pitcher, is the target of fans’ and players’ outrage. Chapman, a Cleveland favorite since breaking in in 1912, had been married the previous year. In October his wife will receive a full World Series share, $3,986.34. The incident has no effect on Mays’s pitching. One week later he will blank Detroit, 10-0, and go on to win 26 and lose 11. Joe Sewell will be called up to take Chapman’s place, and for 14 years he will be the hardest man to strike out in the Major Leagues.(2,3)
  • 1930 - At Wrigley Field, the league-leading Cubs nip the Phillies, 10-9, in the first game of a doubleheader, then play to a 3-3 tie in 11 innings before darkness intervenes. In the first game, the Phils score eight runs in the 7th to take a 9-8 lead, but Gabby Hartnett’s drive wins the game for Chicago. Hack Wilson hits his 41st homer in the opener. The Phils manage just two hits in the nitecap, but take a 3-0 lead into the 9th. Chicago comes back when Riggs Stephenson scores on a balk, then Woody English cracks a two-run homer to tie.

Box scores: Game one, Game two.


Thanks for reading.