... 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 hand-picked scenes from the rich tapestry of Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball history*.
Today in baseball history:
- 1839 - Due to an erroneous eye-witness account, Abner Doubleday is given credit for establishing the first baseball game is played in America. The Hall of Fame, which opens a century later in Cooperstown, celebrates the origin of our national pastime in this small upstate New York town, although it is doubtful the West Point cadet was ever there or ever watched a baseball game. (1)
- 1884 - Dissatisfied with umpire Jack Brennan’s calls, hundreds of fans storm the field at Oriole Park in an American Association game between the Orioles and Louisville Eclipse. One man wielding a large revolver threatens to shoot Brennan if he makes any more bad calls. Police have to be called in to clear the mob, and after the game, which ends in a 4-4 tie, Brennan is slugged to the ground by a fan and has to be taken to the Orioles clubhouse, then to OF Jim Clinton’s home for his own protection, before being whisked out of town on the first train. (3)
- 1939 - With much of its funding provided by the Clark Foundation, a charitable organization established by the Singer Sewing Machine Company, the Baseball Hall of Fame is dedicated in Cooperstown, New York, the site selected due to an erroneous report made that claimed Abner Doubleday had invented the game in the small upstate town. The greatest-ever gathering of members and future inductees of the Hall of Fame accept their plaques: Grover Alexander, Ty Cobb, Eddie Collins, Walter Johnson, Nap Lajoie, Connie Mack, Babe Ruth, George Sisler, Tris Speaker, Honus Wagner and Cy Young. (1,3)
- 1946 - The Veterans Committee elect Jack Chesbro into the Hall of Fame, making him the only player to be enshrined in Cooperstown who actually played professional baseball for a team located in the upstate New York village on the shores of Otsego Lake. The right-hander, who established the record for most victories in a season with 41 while pitching for the 1904 Highlanders, played for the Cooperstown Athletics after the Roanoke Magicians of the Virginia State League disbanded during 1896 season. (1)
- 1961 - An ailing Bill Veeck sells his interest in the White Sox to Arthur Allyn, a minority partner. Allyn also buys Hank Greenberg’s stock to acquire a controlling interest. Greenberg remains as General Manager. (2)
- 1970 - Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis no-hits the San Diego Padres, 2-0. Ellis receives all of his support on two home runs by Willie Stargell. Ellis will later claim that he was suffering from the after-effects of his previous night’s LSD trip while pitching this gem. (1)
- 1975 - Oakland Athletics outfielder Billy Williams hits his 400th career home run.
- 1981 - Major League Baseball experiences its first in-season work stoppage. The 50-day strike, which will end on July 31, results in 712 games not being played. Marvin Miller announces, “We have accomplished nothing. The strike is on.” (1)
- 1996 - Marge Schott is forced to relinquish her role as managing general partner of the Reds for two years due to her questionable comments about Hitler. The Cincinnati owner, in an interview last month with ESPN, stated “Everybody knows [Hitler] was good at the beginning, but he just went too far.” (1)
- 1997 - After 126 years of major league play tradition, the first interleague game is played as the San Francisco Giants beat the host Texas Rangers, 4 - 3. Glenallen Hill becomes the National League’s first regular season designated hitter. (3)
- Cubs birthdays: John Stedronsky, Otto Knabe, Jack Cusick, Bob Thorpe, Damon Buford, Dallas Beeler.
- (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!