... 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*. Beware of rabbit holes.
Today in baseball history:
- 1878 - Fredrick W. Thayer patents the catcher’s mask. He is the captain of Harvard University Baseball Club. (3)
- 1920 - Frank (Home Run) Baker’s wife, Ottalee, dies at 31, leaving two small children. Baker will miss the entire season to stay home and take care of the family, returning in 1921 to hit .294. (2,3)
- 1924 - The National League announces it will join the American League in awarding a thousand dollars to the player selected by the Baseball Writers Association of America as the Most Valuable Player. (3)
- 1980 - Oakland Athletics owner Charlie Finley’s plan to sell his team to oil mogul Marv Davis is thwarted when the American League offers to buy out the Oakland Coliseum lease. Davis had hoped to move the franchise to Denver.
- 1988 - The San Diego Padres trade reliever Rich Gossage to the Chicago Cubs for infielder Keith Moreland in a deal that also includes a pair of minor league players. (3)
Hall-of-Famer Gossage was 4-4 with 13 saves in 43.2 innings over 46 games pitched in for the Cubs. It wasn’t pretty and he wasn’t re-signed. This didn’t stop teams from employing him for another five years.
- 2003 - Federal judge James Holderman gives the Chicago Cubs and the owners of rooftop bleachers which provide fans a view of Wrigley Field a year to settle their dispute. The team believes the seating provided above the field on the rooftops directly competes with the club for ticket sales and the surrounding neighbors, in turn, have not been sympathetic to team’s expansion plans. (3)
- Cubs birthdays: Bill Mack, Sweetbread Bailey, Virgil Cheeves, Monk Dubiel, Joe Garagiola, Lenny Randle, Gene Krug, Jeff Pico. Also notable: Chick Hafey (HoF), Dom DiMaggio.
- (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 try to vet each item. Please let us know if an item is in error, especially if you have a source.
Thanks for reading.