... 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:
- 1932 - The Chicago Cubs get Babe Herman from the Cincinnati Reds for Rollie Hemsley and three others. (3)
- 1948 - “Sometimes the best trades are the ones you never make” - Bill Veeck, the Indian owner’s observation about a possible deal that wasn’t made.
Lou Boudreau is selected as the American League Most Valuable Player, becoming the only manager to win a World Series and be named the circuit’s MVP in the same season. The fan-favorite Cleveland shortstop, who had almost been dealt to the Browns earlier in the year but for the protest of the Indian fans, prompts owner Veeck to rethink the transaction. (1,3)
- 1952 - On Youth Wants to Know, a local NBC New York television show, Jackie Robinson accuses the Yankee organization of being racist due to its failure to have a black player on the club. In 1955, Elston Howard will become the first black ballplayer in the Bronx, nine years after Robinson broke the color barrier with the Dodgers. (1,3)
- 1953 - The Cubs sell C Carl Sawatski to the White Sox. (3)
- 1961 - The BBWAA selects Billy Williams (.278, 25, 86) as the National League’s Rookie of the Year. The Cubs outfielder is named on ten of the 16 ballots cast by the writers, with the runner-up, Braves catcher Joe Torre, receiving five votes from the writers. Cubs southpaw Jack Curtis also received consideration for the honor. (1,3)
- 1967 - The Cubs give up on pitcher Ray Culp and ship him to the Red Sox for minor leaguer Rudy Schlesinger and cash. A steal for the Sox, Culp will develop a palmball and win 64 games for them over the next four seasons. (3)
- 1970 - The Cubs trade veteran knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm to the Braves for Hal Breeden, a minor league first baseman used sparingly before dealt to the Expos at the start of the 1972 season. The Atlanta releases the future Hall of Fame relief pitcher, known as Old Sarge to his teammates, in June, but he will finish the season with the Dodgers. (1)
- 1977 - Dave Kingman, joining his fifth team this year, signs as a free agent with the Cubs. Sky King, put on waivers in September by the Padres after a midseason trade with the Mets, was selected by the Angels, who dealt the much-traveled slugger to the Yankees a week later. (1)
- 1999 - Members of the Major League Umpires Association vote 57-35 to form a new union, with one vote voided because the umpire signed his ballot. The National Labor Relations Board will certify the election results in seven days, if there are no objections. But, Jerry Crawford, the president of the old union, says objections are likely to be filed. (3)
- 2011 - The Cubs sign free agent OF David DeJesus to a two-year contract. (3)
- 2016 - Major League Baseball owners and the Players’ Association agree on a new five-year Collective Bargaining Agreement. Highlights of the deal include: a raise in the threshold for luxury tax payments to $195 million in 2017, gradually rising to reach $210 million in 2021; the All-Star Game will no longer determine home field advantage for the World Series; and teams will no longer forfeit a first-round pick in the amateur draft if they sign a premium free agent. There is no agreement on instituting an international draft; instead, teams will have an annual $6 million bonus pool limit for international signings. The deal ensures that labor peace in MLB will have exceeded a quarter of a century by the time the agreement expires. (3)
- Cub birthdays: Frank Killen, Elmer Koestner, Ed Mayer, Steve Hamilton, Bob Tewksbury, Matt Lawton, Rich Harden, Luis Valbuena, Alec Mills.
- (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!