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Baseball history unpacked, September 23

Fred Merkle, Brant Brown, and other errors

Fred Merkle Warming Up
Fred Merkle

... 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:

Box score.

  • 1961 - Ernie Banks voluntarily takes the bench as a sore knee brings his 717 consecutive-games-played streak to an end. (2)
  • 1978 - The Angels’ 27-year-old OF Lyman Bostock, a .311 lifetime hitter, is hit by a shotgun blast while riding in a car in Gary, IN. The shot was meant for one of the other passengers in the car. He will die in the early hours of the next day. (1,3)
  • 1986 - Houston’s Jim Deshaies strikes out the first eight batters on the way to a two-hit, 4 - 0, win over the Dodgers. Deshaies breaks the major-league record of 7, last tied by Joe Cowley on May 28th. He finishes with 10 strikeouts. (1,3)

1998 - Sammy Sosa breaks an 0 for 21 slump, hitting his 64th and 65th home runs as the Cubs build a 7 - 0 lead over the Brewers. Milwaukee fights back, however, and scores three in the last of the 9th when Chicago OF Brant Brown drops a routine fly ball with the bases loaded and two out to allow three Brewers to score. Rod Beck is on the mound when the Merkle-like error occurs (Fred Merkle’s boner occurred exactly 90 years ago). Milwaukee wins, 8 - 7, and the Cubs remain tied for the wild card spot with the Mets, who lose to Montreal, 3 - 0. With his eight total bases, Sammy has now topped the 400 mark. (1,3)

Box score.

  • 2001 - Sammy Sosa becomes the first player in history to hit three home runs in a game three times in a season. Despite his trio of blasts, the Cubs still lose to the Astros, 7 - 6. (1,3)

Box score.

  • 2011 - Starlin Castro becomes the youngest Cubs player to collect 200 hits in a season when he singles off Chris Carpenter leading off the game in St. Louis. The Cubs’ 21 year-old shortstop accomplishes the feat at an age two years younger than Billy Herman (1932) and Augie Galan (1935), who were both 23 at the time. (3)

Box score.


Thanks for reading.