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Baseball history unpacked, February 14

Cubs and MLB news — Three-Finger Brown, ads at Wrigley, and other stories

MLB: APR 16 Pirates at Cubs Photo by Patrick Gorski/Icon Sportswire via 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*. Beware of rabbit holes.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1887 - For a record price of $10,000, the Cubs, then known as the White Stockings, sell current National League batting champ and future Hall of Famer Mike King Kelly to the Beaneaters. The popular box office draw, who will earn his nickname King while playing in Boston, will continue to be productive, hitting .311 for three years during his first tenure with the team. Kelly, who is often credited with popularizing the hit-and-run, will win election to the Hall of Fame in 1945. (1,3)
  • 1911 - A cork-centered ball is introduced, and the number of .300 hitters will jump from eight in 1910 to 27 this season in the American League. The league’s earned run average will go from from 2.53 to 3.34. (3)
  • 1948 - Right-handed pitcher Mordecai Brown dies in Terre Haute, Indiana, at the age of 71. Despite losing part of two fingers on his right hand in a childhood farm accident, Brown won 239 games during a 14-year Hall of Fame career. (3)
  • 1957 - Some 10 years after Jackie Robinson broke the major league color barrier, the Georgia Senate unanimously approves a bill prohibiting blacks from playing baseball with white players, except at religious gatherings. The bill was put forth by Senator Leon Butts. At the time, Georgia does not have a major league team, but does have several minor league teams. (2,3)
  • 2007 - For the first time at Wrigley Field, the Cubs will allow ads on the green doors located in the ivy in the left- and right-field bleachers, according to Jay Blunk, director of marketing and sales. Although other companies have approached the team, Under Armour, whose company spokesman is newly acquired outfielder Alfonso Soriano, is the “right fit” for the 7-by-12 foot signage featuring the performance apparel’s signature logo. (1)
  • 2018 - One of the worst school shootings in U.S. history takes place at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, resulting in the deaths of 16 persons and numerous others wounded. One of the school’s most famous alumni, 1B Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs, rushes to his alma mater to attempt to provide comfort to survivors.
  • Cubs birthdays: Ace Stewart, Mike Hechinger, Uel Eubanks, Len Gabrielson, Daniel Garibay.


*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.