... on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, Bleed Cubbie Blue brings a you a lighthearted 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*. Beware of rabbit holes.
Today in baseball history:
- 1912 - Former Brooklyn Superbas pitcher Elmer Stricklett, said to be the inventor of the spitball, is reinstated by the National Commission after playing outside organized baseball for three years. But he will not make it back to the major leagues. (3)
- 1942 - “I honestly feel it would be best for the country to keep baseball going.” - U.S. President Franklin Rooosevelt, responding to Commissioner Landis’ inquiry about the sport’s future.
In his famous ‘Green Light letter,’ President Roosevelt answers Commissioner Landis’s query about playing baseball in the wake of the Second World War. FDR responds that he believes playing the sport would be good for Americans and encourages the owners to have more games at night to give war workers an opportunity to attend games. (1)
Ironically, the Cubs, who had signed contracts to install lights at Wrigley Field, drop their plans because of the military need for the material. There will be no lights at Wrigley for 35 more years. (2)
Full text. (1)
- 1964 - Baseball’s executives select New York City as the site of the game’s inaugural free-agent draft, a controversial measure approved during the winter meetings that gives teams with the worst records the earlier picks to the talented amateur players. With the first pick in the history of the draft, the A’s will select ASU outfielder Rick Monday when the process begins on June 8 at the Hotel Commodore. (1,3)
- 1998 - The Chicago Cubs sign free agent relief pitcher Rod Beck to a one-year contract.
- Cubs birthdays: Jock Menefee, Grover Lowdermilk, Dick Culler, William Brennan, Delino DeShields, Ray King.
- (1) — The National Pastime.
- (2) — Today in Baseball History.
- (3) — Baseball Reference.
- (4) — Society for American Baseball Research.
- (5) — Baseball Hall of Fame.
- (6) — This Day in Chicago Cubs history.
*We try to vet each item. Please let us know if an item is in error, especially if you have a source.
Thanks for reading.