... 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:
- 1881 - The American Association is founded in Cincinnati, OH with the motto “Liberty to All.” The members are the Brooklyn Atlantics, Cincinnati Red Stockings, Louisville Colonels, Philadelphia Athletics, Pittsburgh Alleghenys and St. Louis Brown Stockings. The Brooklyn team will be replaced by the Baltimore Orioles before the start of the first season. This AA will be considered a major league. (3)
- 1930 - Ernest Barnard completes his three-year contract as president of the American League. Among Barnard’s innovations have been the establishment of an umpire’s school and the recodifying of the rule book. He also led the effort to eliminate the sacrifice fly scoring rule: he considers that with inflated batting averages resulting from the livelier baseball, the batter no longer needs the benefit of not being charged a time at bat when his fly ball advances a runner. (3)
- 1951 - The National Labor Relations Board files unfair labor practices charges against the Cleveland Indians on a claim the club fired a ticket seller at the union’s request. This is the first case against baseball under the Taft-Hartley Act. (3)
- 1974 - The Atlanta Braves trade Hank Aaron to the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder Dave May and a minor league pitcher. Aaron will finish his major league career in Milwaukee, where he started it with the Braves in 1954. (3)
- 2000 - The Commission grants Wrigley Field preliminary landmark status on Chicago Landmarks. Any plans to refurbish or tear down the Cubs’ home since 1916 will have to be reviewed by this panel. (1)
- 2004 - “It’s a dud, just like the Cubs were,” - Pat Camden, Chicago police spokesman comparing the team’s season and the discovery of a potentially explosive device.
After a groundskeeper finds a grenade in the Wrigley Field turf, bomb and arson investigators are called to evaluate the right field discovery. The rusty, hollowed-out shell turns out to be harmless, and its origins remain a mystery.
- 2016 - The Cubs win their first World Series title in 108 years by defeating Cleveland, 8-7, in Game 7, making up a three games to one deficit in the process as it’s a great day for teams with ursine names. It’s an epic ballgame worthy of the high stakes, as Dexter Fowler hits a lead-off homer off Corey Kluber, but the Indians manage to tie the score in the third. In the fourth, the Cubs score twice, including one run on a daring rush to the plate by Kris Bryant on a fly ball to CF Rajai Davis that travels perhaps 150 feet. Javier Baez and David Ross also homer for Chicago as the Cubs build up their lead, but Cleveland scores two runs on a wild pitch by Jon Lester in the sixth, then trailing 6-4 with two outs in the eighth, Davis homers off Aroldis Chapman to tie the game again. Play is stopped briefly by rain after the 9th inning, but in the 10th, Ben Zobrist, who is named World Series MVP, puts the Cubs ahead with a double and Miguel Montero adds an insurance run with a single, a run which proves important as the Indians manage to score once in the bottom of the 10th before Mike Montgomery retires Michael Martinez on a grounder to third to clinch the title. Cleveland now takes over as owners of the longest championship drought in the majors, their last title having come in 1948.
- Cubs birthdays: Otto Williams, Clem Clemens, Dutch Zwilling, Johnny Vander Meer, Jesse Flores, Bill Connors, Orlando Merced. Also notable: Travis Jackson 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 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!