... 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:
- 1898 - Cap Anson is released after 19 years as first baseman/manager with the Chicago National League teams. Strong-minded Cap, with a record of 1,288 victories and five NL pennants, was enormously popular in Chicago. Former infielder Tom Burns takes over as manager of the teams which is now dubbed the “Orphans” by reporters. (3)
- 1927 - National League President John Heydler rules that Rogers Hornsby cannot continue to both hold stock in the St. Louis Cardinals and play for the New York Giants. Seemingly oblivious, the Cards’ board of directors, meeting in St. Louis, votes stockholders a 10% dividend, earning Hornsby $2916 for his 1167 shares. (2,3)
- 1953 - The New York Yankees, Cleveland Indians, and Boston Red Sox retaliate against Bill Veeck, forcing the St. Louis Browns to play afternoon games to avoid sharing TV revenues. Veeck takes his plan to the American League office to make them pay. The plan is rejected. (3)
- 1969 - The National Association approves the use of the Designated Hitter for the International, Eastern, Texas and New York-Pennsylvania leagues. The rules vary slightly for each league. The Texas League will be the first to use the DH, in April.
The American and National leagues agree to try an experimental rule change in spring training using a designated pinch hitter, but they don’t agree on the implementation. The AL tells the teams to use the DPH when they are the home team; the NL gives the home manager the choice of which rules to use, but the visiting manager has to agree. The Mets, Giants, and Cardinals say that they will not use the rules, and the Astros and Reds follow suit. (3)
- 2003 - In an effort to secure funding for a major re-design of the 12-year old ”New” Comiskey Park, the Chicago White Sox announces the ballpark will now be known as U.S. Cellular Field. The 23-year deal with the wireless service provider, which will pay the White Sox $68 million, changes the name used for home by the south siders since 1910. (1,3)
- Cubs birthdays: Bob Ferguson, Ray Brown, Charlie Wiedemeyer, Ernie Banks (HoF), Tommy La Stella. Also notable: Jackie Robinson (HoF).
- (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.