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Baseball history unpacked, September 25

ER and the Cubs, Nacho-gate, and other stories

MLB: Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals Jeff Curry-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:

  • 1889 - The Brotherhood of Professional Base Ball Players’ organizational plan for a new Players League is leaked to the press. It calls for clubs to be owned jointly by players and capitalists. (3)
  • 1930 - With four games remaining in the campaign, Cubs skipper Joe McCarthy (442-331) ‘resigns’ and is replaced by Rogers Hornsby, who was recently named by owner William Wrigley Jr. as Chicago’s player-manager for next year. McCarthy, who was not offered a contract for the upcoming season with his team still mathematically alive in the pennant race, will agree in October to manage New York, where he will win seven World Series in his 15 seasons with the Yankees. (1,3)
  • 1935 - In a showdown series with the 2nd-place Cardinals in St. Louis, the Cubs edge the Cardinals, 1 - 0. Paul Dean strikes out the first four Cub batters before young Phil Cavarretta drives a home run on top the roof in RF for the only score of the game. Lon Warneke gives up just two hits and walks none in winning his 20th game. It is the Cubs’ 19th straight win, and they are now assured of at least a tie for the pennant. (3)

Box score.

  • 1965 - At age 34, Willie Mays becomes the oldest player to slug 50 home runs in a season. The Giants center fielder was also the youngest to accomplish the feat, hitting 51 homers in 1955. (3)
  • 1966 - In a matchup of Jewish pitchers, the Cubs’ Ken Holtzman outduels Sandy Koufax to win, 2 - 1. The Dodgers go hitless over the first eight innings. Holtzman, who spent much of the season in military service, will finish the year at 9-0, the first pitcher since Howie Krist (10-0) in 1940 to win that many without a loss. (1.3)

Box score.

  • 1966 - The Mets, for the first time in the five-year history of the franchise, will not end their season in last place. The Amazins, who will finish ahead of the Cubs, clinch ninth place by beating Cincinnati at Crosley Field, 8-4. (1)
  • 1974 - In a revolutionary surgical operation, Dr. Frank Jobe repairs Tommy John’s damaged ulnar collateral ligament by replacing the elbow tendon of the pitching arm with a tendon from the right wrist. The procedure, now known as Tommy John surgery, will give the southpaw, who was unlikely to ever be able to pitch again, an opportunity to post an additional 164 victories. (1,3)
  • 1989 - At Montreal, the Cubs blow a chance to clinch a tie in the National League East, losing, 4 - 3, in 10 innings, but back into the tie anyway when St. Louis loses later on. Andre Dawson homers twice off Bryn Smith, his second a bizarre inside-the-park blow that gives the Cubs a 3 - 2 lead. Dawson flies deep to CF Dave Martinez, who catches the ball but suffers a painful muscle pull doing so and drops to the ground. Dawson keeps running as Martinez’s teammates surround him. The ball is finally thrown in after Dawson touches home plate. Although at no time did the ball touch the ground or the fence, the umpires award Dawson a homer over howls of protest. Martinez misses the remainder of the series. (3)

Box score.

Box score.

  • 1997 - NBC’s hit TV show “ER” airs live and uses the Cubs telecast in the background in various scenes to authenticate the telecast’s claim of not being pre-recorded. The medical drama cuts to the game just as Brad Ausmus hits a three-run homer, much to the delight of the Astros’ catcher, who is taping his favorite program to watch later, not knowing he would be part of the cast. The Astros also clinch the NL West title with that game.(1)
  • 1998 - Sammy Sosa hits #66 and his final round-tripper of the season, a 462-foot blast at the Astrodome, to take the lead in the home run race. Less than an hour later, Mark McGwire will also hit his 66th, en route to his record-setting 70, in the Cardinals’ 6-5 victory over Montreal, tying the Cub outfielder in the historic home run race. (1)
  • 2003 - Sammy Sosa becomes the first National Leaguer to have at least 100 RBI nine seasons in a row. The Cubs’ right fielder surpasses Mel Ott and Willie Mays, who had accomplished the feat eight straight seasons, and joins Rafael Palmeiro and Jimmie Foxx as the only players in major league history to hit 35 home runs and 100 RBI for nine consecutive seasons. (1)
  • 2017 - In the second inning of the Cubs’ 10-2 rout of the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, Addison Russell dives into the stands chasing a foul ball, spilling a fan’s nachos onto the playing field. In the following frame, the Chicago shortstop hand delivers a fresh order of tortilla covered with cheese to the grateful Redbird fan. (1)


Thanks for reading.