... 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:
- 1911 - Future Hall of Fame catcher Josh Gibson is born in Buena Vista, Georgia. Although record-keeping in the Negro Leagues is somewhat nebulous, Gibson will become the leading home run hitter in all of black baseball. His legendary power will earn him the nickname, “The Black Babe Ruth.” Gibson wil begin his pro career at age 18 with the Homestead Grays before becoming a star with the Pittsburgh Crawfords. (1)
- 1926 - Given the outpouring of public support for the popular players and the failure of the accuser to publicly defend his claim at a hearing last month, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis announces Ty Cobb’s former Tiger teammate Dutch Leonard had accused the Georgia Peach and Indian outfielder Tris Speaker of betting on a fixed baseball game played six years ago. The commissioner will declare the matter closed, giving both future Hall of Famers a clean bill of health. (1)
- 1960 - Chicago Cubs owner Philip K. Wrigley announces the club will not have a manager for the next season, but will instead use a college of coaches, who will take turns managing the ballclub. The original eight coaches include Charlie Grimm, Ripper Collins and Rube Walker. Before the season is over, Vedie Himsl, Harry Craft, El Tappe and Lou Klein will have taken turns leading the team. The results will be disastrous for the Cubs, who will finish the season 35 games out of first place, but the experiment will be repeated in 1962 before being shelved for good.(1,3)
- 2011 - The Reds continue to acquire players in preparation for a run at what appears to be a wide-open NL Central division in 2012. Today, they get lefty reliever Sean Marshall from the Cubs in return for P Travis Wood and two players to be named, who turn out to be OF Dave Sappelt and IF Ronald Torreyes. (3)
- 2018 - The Associated Press reports that the average salary in the major leagues went down last season, for the first time since 2004, albeit by a very small amount, according to data provided by the Players Association. The typical player took home $4.095 million, down from $4.097 million the year before. The other times salaries had failed to rise were during collusion in the mid-1980s and after the devastating 1994 strike. In 2018, teams had been notably reticent to offer salaries to free agents, with a huge number being still unsigned when spring training opened and many forced to accept salaries below their previous market value. (3)
- Cubs birthdays: Bill Traffley, Dell Darling, Jim Doyle, Cy Williams, Pete Scott, Bob Rush, Dave Kingman, LaTroy Hawkins.
- (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 ifyou have a source. Thanks for reading!