... 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:
- 1947 - Triple Crown winner Ted Williams (.343, 32, 162) is edged out by Joe DiMaggio (.315, 20, 97) for the American League MVP by one point when a writer from the Midwest leaves the Red Sox right-fielder off the ballot. The BBWAA also denied the ‘Splendid Splinter’ the award in 1942, another season in which he led the Junior Circuit in every major offensive category. (1,3)
- 1974 - Commissioner Bowie Kuhn suspends New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner for two years as a result of Steinbrenner’s conviction for illegal campaign contributions to Richard Nixon and others. (2,3)
- 1997 - Hall of Famer Buck Leonard dies at the age of 90. Regarded as one of the greatest players in Negro Leagues history, Leonard starred for the powerhouse Homestead Grays, who won nine consecutive pennants. Leonard consistently ranked among the league leaders in home runs and won a batting title in 1948. (3)
- 2001 - The major league owners vote unanimously to extend baseball commissioner Bud Selig’s contract through 2006. The former Brewers’ owner, who had held the top spot on an interim basis since 1992, was given the title permanently midway through the 1998 season. (1)
- 2012 - Marvin Miller, who served as head of the Major League Baseball Players Association from 1966 to 1983, dies at 95. A veteran union organizer from the steel industry, Miller made the union highly powerful, leading to the first collective bargaining agreement in professional sports in 1968 and other breakthroughs such as salary arbitration and free agency in the 1970s. These advances required a number of strikes, which made Miller a vilified figure among owners. Lingering bitterness explains why Miller failed to secure election to the Hall of Fame by a small margin for many years, although he was finally elected in 2020. (3)
- Cubs birthdays: Hank Miklos, Tony York, Johnny Schmitz, Bob Schultz, Cal Howe, Dave Giusti, Ron Tompkins, Jason Berken. Also notable: Ivan Rodriguez 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!