... 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:
- 1886 - The Sporting News publishes the official National League averages, which show King Kelly as the batting champ with a .388 average, 17 points ahead of Cap Anson. The paper previously had printed its own stats showing Anson ahead, .374 to .366. (3)
- 1922 - Morgan G. Bulkeley, first president of the National League and later governor of Connecticut and U.S. senator, dies. As president of the Hartford Dark Blues club, Bulkeley presided over the NL’s first meeting and headed the league for one year. He will be elected to the Hall of Fame in 1937, in spite of his relatively short involvement in baseball. (3)
- 1938 - The three DiMaggio brothers play together for the first time, making up an outfield for an all-star team in a West Coast charity game. Can you name them? (2)
- 1974 - Mike Marshall of the Los Angeles Dodgers becomes the first relief pitcher to win the Cy Young Award. Ironman Marshall set major league records with 106 appearances and 208 innings pitched in relief. (3)
- 1984 - Willie Hernandez wins the American League Most Valuable Player Award, joining Rollie Fingers as the only relief pitchers to be named MVP and Cy Young Award winners in the same season. (3)
- 1996 - In Chicago, the MLB owners decisively reject a proposed labor agreement that would have ended a three-year stalemate. The 18-12 vote threatens to plunge baseball back into full-fledged hostilities between the owners and players’ union. (3)
- 1997 - Milwaukee is back in the National League, 31 years after the Braves left the city for Atlanta. The Brewers are the first team ever to switch from the American League to the National League. With an expansion team joining each league in 1998, the move keeps an even number of teams in both leagues to allow interleague play to occur at selected times of the season. (2)
- 1998 - Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Kerry Wood, who posted a 13-6 record, wins the National League Rookie of the Year Award. Wood held batters to a NL best .196 average and finished third in the league in strikeouts with 233 in just 166 2/3 innings pitched. (3)
- 2001 - “We had hoped that we were in a new era, one that would see a much better relationship between players and owners. Today’s announcement is a severe blow to such hopes.” - Donald Fehr, the Players Association executive director commenting on MLB’s plan to contract two teams.
Denying it is a negotiating ploy, Commissioner Bud Selig is given the authority to “begin the process” of eliminating two “to be announced” teams by the MLB owners by a 28-2 vote. Donald Fehr, the Players Association executive director, calls the action of possibly eliminating the Twins, Expos, Marlins or Devil Rays most imprudent and unfortunate and the worst manner in which to begin the process of negotiating a new collective bargaining agreement. (1,3)
- 2007 - At their annual meeting, baseball’s general managers vote 25-5 in favor of using instant replays on a limited basis. The proposal, which owners, players, and umpires will need to approve of making the use of video a reality, would be utilized only in determining home run calls in doubt due to possible fan interference, balls clearing the fence, and balls near or over the foul pole. (1)
- Cubs birthdays: Danny Green, Chick Tolson, Joe Munson, Bob Addis, Don Wengert, Justin Speier. Also notable: Walter Johnson 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!