... 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:
- 1913 - Frank Chance becomes the manager of a very weak Highlander (Yankees) team. The veteran skipper will finish next to last (57-94) and will compile a 117-168 record during his two-year stint in New York. (1,3)
- 1916 - James E. Gaffney sells his Boston Braves for $500,000 to the Harvard University football coach, Percy Haughton, and a banker associate. Gaffney had bought the team in 1913 for $187,000. Haughton will raise $600,000 to build Fenway Park. The former owner, a Tammany Hall alderman and construction contractor, who bought the team in 1913 for $187,000, recently gained notoriety as a target of Hennessy and Whitman investigations into political graft. (1)
(The Braves’ signature logo devolves from Tammany Hall’s insignia — so the connection runs through today)
- 1930 - Chicago Cubs star pitcher Art Nehf announces his retirement. Nehf won 184 games during his major league career and pitched in five World Series. (3)
- 1956 - Dodger second baseman Jackie Robinson is awarded the prestigious Spingarn Medal by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People for his strong support of civil rights initiatives. Last year the NAACP gave the honor to Martin Luther King Jr., who was best known for his role in promoting the use of nonviolent civil disobedience to secure equal rights for all Americans. (1)
- 1963 - Funeral services for Hall of Fame second baseman Rogers Hornsby are held in Chicago, Illinois. Hall of Fame director Sid Keener, American League president Will Harridge and Hall of Famers Lou Boudreau, Gabby Hartnett, Ted Lyons and Ray Schalk attend the services for Hornsby, who died from a heart attack on January 5th.
- 1981 - With the signing of Larry Biittner, the Reds become the last big league team to sign a free agent. The team’s first attempt into free agency, which has been an option of signing major leaguers since 1976, does not go well when the 35-year-old first baseman/outfielder bats only .213 during his first year with Cincinnati. (1)
- 1991 - For the first time since 1984, three players are elected to the Hall of Fame: two 3,000-strikeout pitchers, Gaylord Perry and Ferguson Jenkins, and a member of the 3,000-hit club, Rod Carew, who becomes the 22nd player to be named in his first year of eligibility. Ironically, none of the three players ever appeared in a World Series. (1,3)
- 1995 - Mike Schmidt, who hit 548 home runs and won two MVP Awards in 18 years with the Philadelphia Phillies, is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. (3)
- 2014 - Hurlers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, best remembered for their dominance with the Braves, and White Sox slugging first baseman Frank Thomas are elected to the Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility. The trio of selections marks the first time the BBWAA has voted in three players since 1999 when Nolan Ryan, George Brett, and Robin Yount got their nod for Cooperstown. (1)
- 2016 - The former scouting director of the St. Louis Cardinals, Chris Correa, pleads guilty to five charges of hacking following an investigation by the FBI over allegations that the Cards had spied into the Houston Astros’ scouting database. (3)
- Cubs birthdays: Walker Cooper, Marv Rickert, Bruce Sutter (HoF), Geremi Gonzalez, James Russell.
- (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.