... 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:
- 1871 - The first franchise in the yet-to-be formed National Association of Professional Baseball Players is born. The Boston Red Stockings, the league’s charter franchise, will be managed by Harry Wright, who founded and managed the Cincinnati Red Stockings, the first professional baseball team. Two months later, the National Association will officially open for business, as the ancestors of the future National League’s Braves franchise are born. (3)
- 1906 - Henry Mathewson signs with the Giants, but the right-hander’s performance will not remind anyone of his more talented older brother, Christy, when the right-hander, in his only start, walks 14 batters to establish a National League record. The 19 year-old will appear in just three major league games over the next two seasons, compiling a 0-1 record along with two saves while posting an ERA of 4.91 during his 11 innings of work in the major leagues. (1)
- 1970 - Shortstop Lou Boudreau achieves election to the Hall of Fame, receiving 232 of a possible 300 votes from the BBWAA. Boudreau led the American League eight times in fielding percentage, won a batting title, and was named AL Most Valuable Player as player-manager of the 1948 World Champion Cleveland Indians. (2,3)
- 1997 - Former All-Star outfielder Curt Flood, who challenged baseball’s reserve system all the way to the Supreme Court and made possible today’s mega-salaries, dies of throat cancer at age 59. (1,3)
- Cubs birthdays: Earl Smith, Gale Wade, John Baker, Geovany Soto,
- (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.