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Baseball history unpacked, September 4

Striking out from the bench, and other stories

Photo By Andrew D. Bernstein/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:

  • 1902 - Chicago Orphans rookie Alex Hardy debuts with a 1-0 shutout victory over Brooklyn, and becomes the first 20th century National League pitcher to toss a shutout in his first game. It’s happened twice already in the American League. (3)
  • 1908 - In a game, the significance of which will not be recognized for another three weeks, the Pirates and Cubs are tied 0 - 0 in the last of the 10th at Pittsburgh. With two outs and the bases loaded, Pittsburgh’s Owen Wilson singles to CF, scoring Fred Clarke with the winning run. Warren Gill, on first base, does not get to second but stops short, turns, and heads for the dugout, a common practice. The Cubs’ Johnny Evers calls for the ball from Jimmy Slagle, touches second, and claims the run does not count as Gill has been forced. The lone umpire, Hank O’Day, has left the field. When queried, he rules that Clarke had already scored, so the run counts. The Cubs protest to league president Harry Pulliam, but are denied. This is the first time the Cubs try this tactic, but not the last, as the Fred Merkle game will demonstrate. (3)
  • 1916 - Reds’ player-manager Christy Mathewson, pitching his only game not in a Giant uniform, beats his long-time nemesis Mordecai ‘Three Finger’ Brown and the Cubs, 10-8. In the 25 contests the two legends have faced one another, Matty takes a 13-12 advantage in their final meeting by winning the last decision. (1)
  • 1935 - The 3rd-place Cubs get two home runs, including a grand slam from Augie Galan, to beat the Phillies at Wrigley Field. Larry French is the winner, 8 - 2, for his 13th victory.

Box score.

  • 1978 - In his first major league at-bat, Dorian Boyland strikes out sitting on the bench. The Pirate rookie is removed with a 1-2 count when the Mets make a pitching change and pinch hitter Rennie Stennett takes the third strike. (1)
  • 2011 - In an episode of the HBO comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm, Bill Buckner, appearing as himself, is promptly thrown out of a shiva service because one of the mourners is a Red Sox fan who hasn’t forgiven him for his infamous error in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. The former Boston first baseman redeems himself when he uses his baseball skills to catch a falling baby, who has ricocheted off the firemen’s rescue net after being thrown out of a burning building. (1)


Thanks for reading.