Well, our simCubs took it on the chin after playing the woeful Pirates and the visiting Cardinals escaped the Windy City with two victories in three games. The Cubs’ til-then reliable bullpen served up free passes to dirty birds and a gopher ball to Paul DeJong, and it was all over despite a spirited comeback in the ninth, as the tying run ended up on third base.
Today’s an off-day for the simCubs and I, and we’re taking a small vacation and maybe a leave from our senses.
... 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:
- 1926 - In one of the greatest Opening Day pitchers’ duels ever, Walter Johnson of the Washington Senators defeats Eddie Rommel and the Philadelphia Athletics, 1 - 0, in a 15-inning battle. (1,2,3)
- 1954 - Cincinnati, in an effort to not be associated with Communists, plays its first game as the Redlegs. The new moniker, which is widely accepted, will be employed for six seasons, before the club reverts back to being known as the Reds, which was a shortened version of the Red Stockings, the team’s original name from 1882 to 1899. (1)
- 1954 - At Sportsman’s Park, St. Louis Cardinals rookie Wally Moon hits a home run in his first major league at-bat off Chicago Cubs pitcher Paul Minner. But Minner homers to back his own pitching, as the Cubs win, 13-4. Tom Alston becomes the first black player to wear a Cardinals uniform. (1,3)
- 1969 - When the Cubs rally, scoring three runs in the bottom of the ninth, to beat the Expos, 7-6, twenty-seven thousand fans spontaneously swarm Wrigley Field in an early season frenzy. The enthusiastic display of affection for the team had not been witnessed in the ballpark since 1960, when Don Cardwell threw his no-hitter on the north side of Chicago. (1)
- 2009 - 1976 American League Rookie of the Year Mark “The Bird” Fidrych dies at 54 from an accident while fixing a truck on his farm in Northborough, MA. (3)
- 2012 - The Cubs spoil the Cardinals’ home opener and P Adam Wainwright’s return to St. Louis with a 9-5 win. After the Cards receive their World Series rings before the game, Ian Stewart hits a three-run homer in the 1st, and Bryan LaHair adds his first career grand slam in the 3rd. Jeff Samardzija is the winner. (3)
- 2015 - Jon Lester finally attempts a pickoff at first base, ending a streak that covered a span of 66 appearances. The Cubs southpaw, who signed a six-year free-agent deal worth $155 million to start for Chicago this season, last threw over to first base on April 30, 2013 while pitching for the Red Sox. (1)
- Cubs birthdays: Claude Hendrix, Roy Walker, Jake Mooty, John Stephenson, Doug Strange.
- (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