The game was fraught with technical difficulties, for which your loyal residents of the TV truck can only apologize, but in the end everything came up roses. Javier Baez tore open a tight game with a grand slam as the Cubs cruised to a win.
... 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:
- 1961 - Vedie Himsl is designated as head coach of the Cubs for the first two weeks of the season. (3)
- 1971 - Before 41‚121 at Wrigley Field‚ Billy Williams clubs a 10th-inning homer off Bob Gibson to give the Cubs a 2-1 win over the Cards. Joe Torre’s homer‚ off Fergie Jenkins‚ is the only Cardinal score. Here’s Billy’s blast:
- 1972 - The first general strike in the history of the major leagues officially begins with the cancellation of Opening Day games in both leagues. The strike will be settled seven days later when the players and owners come to agreement on pension fund payments. The two sides agree not to make up the 86 missed games. (3)
- 1973 - The Pittsburgh Pirates retire Roberto Clemente’s uniform number 21 in a moving pre-game ceremony before 51,695 fans at Three Rivers Stadium. The 38-year-old Clemente died in a plane crash the previous New Year’s Eve, attempting to bring relief aid to earthquake-stricken Managua, Nicaragua. The Pirates then beat St. Louis‚ 7-5‚ with a 9th-inning rally. (1,3)
- 1973 - Yankee Ron Blomberg, facing Boston’s Luis Tiant, becomes the first official designated hitter in the major leagues. Blomberg walks with the bases loaded his first time up and winds up 1-for-3 in a 15-5 loss to the Red Sox. (3)
- 1993 - In his National League debut‚ Cubs P Jose Guzman takes a perfect game into the eighth inning against Atlanta‚ finally settling for a one-hit‚ 1-0 victory. Otis Nixon’s single with two outs in the ninth is the Braves’ only hit. (3)
- 2013 - The Upton brothers, playing together for the Braves, stun the Cubs. With Atlanta trailing 5-4, B.J. Upton leads off the bottom of the ninth with a homer off Carlos Marmol, and two batters later, Justin Upton hits a walk-off blast to give the Braves a 6-5 win, his second long ball of the game. They are the first pair of brothers to homer in the same inning since Billy and Cal Ripken did so for Baltimore in 1996. (3)
- 2017 - Cardinals C Yadier Molina loses a ball when it bounces in the dirt and then gets stuck to his chest protector, allowing Cubs PH Matt Szczur to reach base on a dropped third strike in the seventh inning while Molina is frantically looking around to find the disappeared spheroid. The bizarre play turns out to be instrumental, as Brett Cecil walks the next batter, Jon Jay, and Kyle Schwarber follows with a three-run homer and Chicago wins, 6-4. (3)
- Cubs birthdays: Rudy Schwenck, Don Elston, Phil Regan, Thomas Diamond. Also notable: Mickey Cochrane HOF, Ernie Lombardi HOF, Bert Blyleven 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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