... 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*.
Today in baseball history:
- 1931 - Charles Comiskey dies at age 72. The Chicago White Sox owner and pioneer player never recovered from the betrayal of the 1919 World Series. (2,3)
- 1940 - Tigers’ slugging left fielder Hank Greenberg (.340, 41, 150) is named the American League’s Most Valuable Player with Indian hurler Bob Feller (27-11- 2.61) finishing second. Having won the award in 1935 as a first baseman, ‘Hammerin’ Hank’ becomes the first player to win another MVP playing a different position. (1,3)
- 1946 - Westbrook Pegler, a syndicated columnist, becomes the first to question in print the off-field association of Leo Durocher with actor George Raft and others allegedly tied to gamblers. The Pulitzer Prize winning writer’s expose of the Dodgers manager will start a series of events that will lead to the ‘Lip’s’ one year suspension in 1947 (1)
- 1960 - After his family operates the team in Washington since his dad, Clark Griffith, took over as manager of the club in 1912, Calvin Griffith, president of the Senators, decides to move his club to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area to become the Twins. Baseball awards the District of Columbia an expansion team that will begin play next season to fill the void, placating the lawmakers who spoke of examining baseball’s anti-trust exemption should the national pastime leave the nation’s capital. (1,3)
If baseball’s exemption were lifted, real fans might be able to afford tickets, and teams would stop holding cities hostage.~ Allen Barra
- 1979 - Commissioner Bowie Kuhn notifies Hall of Famer Willie Mays that if he accepts a position with the Bally Manufacturing Corporation, owner of several gambling casinos, he must disassociate himself from major league baseball. Mays, a part-time coach and goodwill ambassador for the Mets, will relinquish his duties upon accepting Bally’s job offer. (2,3)
- 1985 - The Kansas City Royals beat the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 6 of the World Series, thanks in part to a controversial ninth-inning call by Don Denkinger. The umpire rules the Royals’ Jorge Orta safe at first base, when replays show he was out. The Royals will go on to score two runs to win 2-1, forcing a seventh game. (3)
- 1995 - The ceremonial first pitch prior to Game 5 of the World Series is thrown by Commander Ken Bowersox, who is onboard the space shuttle Columbia. The ceremony, transmitted from space via satellite and shown to the Indians and Braves fans at Jacobs Field, continues with an animation sequence on the scoreboard that ends with a ball that appears to fly in and land in center field. (1)
- 2003 - Citing disagreements with team owner George Steinbrenner, Don Zimmer resigns as the Yankees’ bench coach. ‘Popeye,’ a close friend of skipper Joe Torre, will be named Senior Baseball Advisor for the Devil Rays before the start of next season. (1)
- 2005 - In the World Series, the Chicago White Sox complete a sweep of the Houston Astros with a 1-0 victory in Game 4. Freddy Garcia pitches seven solid shutout innings. Series MVP Jermaine Dye connects for an RBI single off Brad Lidge in the eighth for the only run of the game, as Juan Uribe adds strong defensive support at shortstop. Garcia becomes the first Venezuelan starter to win a World Series game. He also accomplishes the feat with good friend and fellow countryman Ozzie Guillen at the helm, who manages the White Sox to earn the franchise’s first World Championship since 1917. (3)
- 2008 - The Hank Aaron Award, given annually to the top offensive player in each league, is presented to Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis (.312, 29, 115) and Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez (.289, 27, 111). The honor was established in 1999 to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Hall of Fame outfielder surpassing Babe Ruth’s all-time home run record. (1)
- 2011 - New Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein announces the appointment of Jed Hoyer, who worked with him with the Boston Red Sox, as the team’s new general manager. The San Diego Padres are expected to name Josh Byrnes as Hoyer’s replacement and will receive a player in compensation from the Cubs. (3)
- 2016 - The Cubs tie up the World Series with a 5-1 win over the Indians in Game 2. Jake Arrieta does not allow a hit until the sixth, while the Cubs score against Trevor Bauer in the top of the first and add runs in the third and fifth. Anthony Rizzo scores twice while Kyle Schwarber drives in a pair. (3)
- Cubs birthdays: Andy Sommers, Harry Chapman, Tommy Griffith, Otto Vogel, Steve Ontiveros.
- (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 vet each item as much as time allows. Please let us know if an item is in error, especially if you have a source. Thanks for reading!