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Baseball history unpacked, April 1

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Cubs and MLB news — sim-Cubs, real Cubs, and other stories

Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

... on specially-selected days we run a brief recap of the events of the previous day’s sim-Cubs. This is one of those days, as the sim-Cubs swabbed the decks and cleared them of Pirates, prevailing 3-2 in the day’s battle on the strength of a Willson Contreras double in the bottom of the eighth.

Al will have details and highlights in the game thread, which will post at 2:30 p.m. CT, and I’ll post the url to the broadcast promptly at 3 p.m. CT. See you there!

... and then ...

... 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:

  • 1914 - Rube Waddell dies from tuberculosis in San Antonio, TX, at the age of 37. One of the top lefthanded pitchers in major league history, Waddell led the American League in strikeouts for six years in a row, collected four consecutive 20-win seasons from 1902 to 1906, including the Triple Crown in 1905 with 27 wins, 287 strikeouts and a 1.48 ERA, leading the league in all pitching categories. Waddell, who dies in a sanitarium, had seen his condition weakened by his efforts to contain a winter flood in Kentucky. He will be selected to the Hall of Fame by the Special Veterans Committee in 1946. (3)
  • 1938 - Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, not a fan of Branch Rickey’s farm system, grants free agency to a group of nine Cardinal minor leaguers that includes Pete Reiser. A reported gentlemen’s agreement that has Brooklyn signing and hiding the 19 year-old outfielder in the low minors to be traded back to St. Louis at a later date, doesn’t work when Brooklyn manager Leo Durocher disobeys orders, allowing the phenom to display his incredible ability in spring training exhibition games. (1)
  • 1970 - An ownership group headed by automobile dealer Bud Selig buys the Seattle Pilots for $10.8 million. Selig will immediately move the Pilots to Milwaukee, WI and rename the team the “Brewers.” The Pilots lost $1 million during their lone season in Seattle, WA. (3)
  • 1985 - Today’s issue of Sports Illustrated contains a fictitious article about a New York Mets pitching prospect named Sidd Finch, whose fastball has been timed at 168 miles per hour. Author George Plimpton offers bogus quotes from real-life members of the Mets, as well as several staged photos, and fools readers nationwide. (3)
  • 1989 - Former Yale University and National League president Bart Giamatti becomes the seventh commissioner of major league baseball. (1)
  • 1996 - Longtime umpire John McSherry collapses and dies from a heart attack on Opening Day at Cincinnati’s Riverfront Stadium, in the 1st inning of a game between the Reds and Expos, which is cancelled. The 51-year-old McSherry had umpired in the National League for 26 seasons. (3)
  • 2011 - Doug Glanville becomes a baseball color analyst for ESPN, the network where he has contributed to the Baseball Tonight television show, ESPN.com, and ESPN - The Magazine. The former major league outfielder, best known for his playing days with the Phillies, also is a guest columnist for the New York Times, where he writes about the culture of sports. (1)
  • Cubs birthdays: Hal Reilly, Jake Jaeckel, Frank Castillo, Daniel Murphy, Also notable: Phil Niekro (HoF)

Sources:

*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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