... 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 - The Cleveland Spiders sign Penobscot Indian Louis Sockalexis. Although the former Holy Cross star plays only three seasons due to alcoholism, the fans admire his outstanding skills and refer to the team as the ‘Indians’- in 1915, the name will become official. (1)
- 1979 - Fearing legal consequences, Bowie Kuhn gives access to female reporters to enter major league locker rooms. The commissioner’s unpopular ruling puts the players in an awkward position in their once all-male domain. (1)
Melissa Ludtke testifies. The actual case.
- 1995 - Major League Baseball owners unanimously approve two expansion teams: the Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Each of the new clubs will pay a $130 million franchise fee and will begin play in 1998. (3)
- 2012 - Umpire Harry Wendelstedt, who officiated during 33 seasons in the National League and also trained two generations of umpires at his “Harry Wendelstedt Umpire School,” dies in Florida at the age of 74. (3)
- 2017 - Kris Bryant (.292, 39, 102), who made $652K in his rookie year, becomes the highest-paid second-year player when he comes to terms with the World Champion Cubs on a contract reportedly worth $1.05 million. The Chicago third baseman’s deal surpasses the previous record major league record of one million dollars, given to sophomore outfielder Mike Trout in 2014 by the Angels. (1)
- Cubs birthdays: Dale Alderson, Terry Mulholland, Benito Santiago, Koyie Hill, Also notable: Billy Southworth (HoF), Arky Vaughan (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.
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