... 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:
- 1929 - The New York Yankees announce they will put numbers on the backs of their uniforms, becoming the first baseball team to start continuous use of the numbers. The first numbers are based on positions in the batting order; thus, Babe Ruth will wear number 3 and Lou Gehrig number 4. In a few weeks, the Cleveland Indians announce that they, too, will put numbers on the uniforms. By 1931, all American League teams will use them. It will be 1933 before all National League players are numbered. (2,3)
- 1953 - Argyle R. Mackey warns alien players they will face deportation if found jumping U.S. professional contracts. The Commissioner of Immigration and Naturalization cites the McCarran-Walter Act as the basis of his decision. (1)
- 1988 - As a result of the Players Association’s 1985 collusion suit against the owners, arbitrator Thomas Roberts declares seven players no-risk free agents until March 1st, giving them a chance to sign with other clubs despite already having contracts. The seven are Juan Beniquez, Tom Brookens, Kirk Gibson, Carlton Fisk, Donnie Moore, Joe Niekro and Butch Wynegar. Gibson will jump to the Dodgers and become the National League MVP and a World Series] hero to boot. (3)
- Cubs birthdays; Jack Littrell, Brian Dayett, Jimmy Anderson.
- (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.