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Baseball history unpacked, February 3

Cubs and MLB news and notes — The Good Kid suspended, and other stories

Lou Boudreau during his playing career, at Wrigley Field for the 1947 All-Star Game
Bettmann / Contributor

... 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:

  • 1886 - Former professional baseball player Albert Spalding begins a sporting goods company with $800. He will become the manufacturer of the first official baseball as well as tennis balls, and equipment for basketball, golf and football. (1,3)
  • 1938 - The University of Illinois suspends Lou Boudreau for taking illegal payments from the Indians. The 19-year-old hoopster goes on to have a 15-year Hall of Fame baseball career in the big leagues as a player-manager for Cleveland and the Red Sox. Of course he was also a broadcaster for WGN radio and TV. (1)

The Cubs and Indians both pursued Boudreau and he also fielded offers to act in a movie and to play for $150 a game with Caesar’s All-Americans, a Hammond, Indiana, team in the National Basketball League, a forerunner of the NBA,. But Boudreau felt he owed his loyalty to Cleveland’s Cy Slapnicka, who had done his best to help him maintain his amateur status at Illinois.

SABR on Boudreau.

  • 1957 - At a New York BBWAA meeting, Walter O’Malley passes a note to Cubs owner Phil Wrigley, who controls the territorial rights to LA, offering Brooklyn’s Texas League team in Fort Worth in return for the Cubs’ Los Angeles PCL minor league franchise. The swap of farm teams will be announced on February 21st, clearing the path for the Dodgers to move to the West Coast. (1)

Corroboration: Here. And here.

  • 1993 - Marge Schott is suspended for one year and fined $25,000 by a committee of her major-league peers for bringing “disrepute and embarrassment” to the national pastime. The 64 year-old will also be required to attend and complete multi-cultural sensitivity training programs due to the numerous racial and ethnic remarks she allegedly made as the owner of the Reds. (1)
  • Cubs birthdays: Newt Randall, Don Kaiser, Joe Coleman.


*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.