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Baseball history unpacked, December 9

Scenes from the rich tapestry of the game

Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

... 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:

  • 1880 - The National League re-elects William Hulbert as president. (3)
  • 1913 - John K. Tener, one-time pitcher and congressman, now governor of Pennsylvania, is elected National League president for four years. John Heydler is elected secretary. (3)
  • 1913 - On the same day Dodger owner Charles Ebbets joins the National League Board of Directors, the team offers the Reds $35,000 for Joe Tinker. The 33-year-old shortstop will jump to the Federal League as player-manager of the Chicago Whales for $12,000 when Brooklyn delays meeting his salary demands of being paid a ‘commission’ of $10,000 of his final sale price of $25,000. (1)
  • 1955 - The Dodgers send P Russ Meyer to the Cubs for P Don Elston and cash. Meyer has the best record in history against the Cubs, at one point going 22-1 against them.

The Phils purchase veteran Frankie Baumholtz from the Cubs. Frankie will play in 76 games next year without an extra-base hit, a National League record that will not be topped. Red Sox Mike McNally, in 1916, played in 87 games without an long hit, a record Luis Gomez will break with 89 games in 1975. (3)

  • 1975 - The colorful Bill Veeck returns. A group headed by him buys 80 percent of the White Sox from John Allyn. (3)
  • 1980 - The Cubs trade reliever Bruce Sutter, the 1979 National League Cy Young Award winner, to the Cardinals for 3B Ken Reitz, OF-1B Leon Durham, and a player to be named. The future Hall of Fame closer will lead the league in saves in three of the four years during his four-year tenure with the Redbirds, averaging nearly 32 per season. (1,3)
  • 1992 - Free-agent Greg Maddux signs the richest guaranteed contract ever given to a pitcher, a five-year, $28 million contract with the Braves. The current Cy Young Award winner leaves the Cubs, his team for the previous seven seasons after contract talks become contentious. (1)
  • 2010 - The Cubs sign former Tampa Bay slugger free-agent Carlos Pena to a $10 million, one-year deal, after spurning several multi-year offers from other clubs. (1)
  • 2014 - One day after their south side rivals, it’s the Cubs’ turn to steal the headlines at the winter meetings in San Diego, CA. First, they sign highly sought-after free agent P Jon Lester to a six-year deal worth $155 million, and then they acquire C Miguel Montero from Arizona for minor leaguers Jeferson Mejia and Zack Godley. (3)
  • 2015 - Major League Baseball issues a recommendation for all its 30 teams to install netting to protect their fans who are sitting in front of the most exposed field-level seats. The suggested protective shield, which would extend from one dugout to the other, will be implemented by most of the clubs before opening day, with the Mets, Pirates and Twins already in compliance, having netting down the the first and third base foul lines. (1)
  • 2018 - The results of the Veterans Committee voting for the 2019 Hall of Fame Election are announced: relief pitcher Lee Smith is a unanimous selection, and OF/DH Harold Baines joins him by being named on 12 of the 16 ballots. Lou Piniella falls just short, with 11 votes. While Smith’s election had been widely anticipated, that of Baines comes as a surprise, given that he had done quite poorly in the original BBWAA voting. (3)
  • Cubs birthdays: Mike Mitchell, Darold Knowles, Rick Bladt, Steve Christmas, Mike Fyhrie, Todd Van Poppel. Also notable: Joe Kelley HOF.

Common sources:

*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!