... 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:
- 1897 - Pitcher Charley Radbourn dies in Bloomington, Illinois, at age of 42. In an 11-season career, Radbourn played for the Providence Grays, Boston Beaneaters, Boston Reds and Cincinnati Reds, compiling a 309-195 record with 1830 strikeouts and a 2.67 ERA. He posted at least 20 wins in nine seasons, including 59 in 1884 and 48 a year before. Affectionately nicknamed “Old Hoss”, Radburn will be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1939. (3)
- 1903 - The Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox announce they will play a series of 15 pre-season games against each other. (3)
- 1916 - The National League meeting announces that it has come to the league’s attention that “some of the diamonds” don’t measure properly. On this day, John Heydler’s office circulates to clubs the news of the Chicago Cubs’ pitching distance, and orders an engineer’s certification. (3)
- 1930 - The Reds select Leo Durocher (.246, 0, 32) off waivers. The 24-year-old shortstop, an unpopular player in the Yankees clubhouse, falls out of favor in New York after a salary dispute with Ed Barrow, the club’s general manager. (1) (They’re both in the Hall of Fame)
- 1931 - Hack Wilson, who set National League records last season when he drove in 191 runs and hit 56 home runs, a mark since surpassed in 1998 by Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa, signs for $35,000. The 31-year-old Cub outfielder’s 1930 RBI total remains one of the game’s most enduring records. (1)
- 1999 - Major League Baseball will honor each league’s best hitter with an award named after Hank Aaron. The all-time home run king learns about the honor on his 65th birthday at an event which includes US President Bill Clinton and Hall of Famers Ernie Banks and Reggie Jackson. (1,3)
- Cubs birthdays: Harry Smith, Max Flack, Dewey Williams, Don Hoak, Roberto Rodriguez, Mark Zagunis. Also notable: Hank Aaron (HoF), Roberto Alomar (HoF).
- (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