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Baseball history unpacked, June 15

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Cubs, simCubs, and MLB news from yesterday and today.

First baseman Billy Williams of the Chicago Cubs swings and watches the flight of his ball during a Major League Baseball game. Williams played for the Cubs from 1959-74 Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Well, the simCubs split the series with the simCardinals, and that’s okay, I suppose. It would have been better to win both but you want to play .500 on the road, yes? Not so much for highlights as the game had to switch streams when the power browned out for a second. But hey! 51-21 is not so bad, no? I made sure not to CROSS the streams, Ray.

Today’s an off-day for the simCubs as they rest up from their London trip and get ready for a three-game tussle with the new-look New York Metropolitans at beautiful Wrigley Field.

The league is happening in the meantime, and here are the standings and league leaders:

In the immortal words of Ric Flair — WOO!

... 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:

  • 1923 - Lou Gehrig makes his Major League debut with the New York Yankees as a pinch hitter. (3)
  • 1938 - In the first night game played in New York City, Johnny Vander Meer of the Cincinnati Reds stuns the baseball world by pitching his second successive no-hitter in five days, defeating the Brooklyn Dodgers, 6-0, as Brooklyn plays the first night game ever at Ebbets Field. In front of 38,748 fans, including spectator Babe Ruth, Vander Meer strikes out seven and walks eight, including three one-out walks in the ninth inning. A force at home and a fly ball end the game. Vander Meer no-hit the Boston Bees, 3-0, on June 11th. (1)
  • 1949 - Shortly after 1 a.m., Ruth Ann Steinhagen shoots Eddie Waitkus in the chest with a rifle at Chicago’s Edgewater Beach Hotel, after luring him to her room with an urgent note delivered by the bellhop. The obsessed fan, who had become infatuated with the first baseman when he played in Chicago, apparently is upset and agitated because the Cubs traded the All-Star infielder to the Phillies. She will later be placed in a mental hospital. Waitkus battles for his life and will come back to play the following season. (1)
  • 1951 - The Cubs trade Andy Pafko along with Johnny Schmitz, Wayne Terwilliger, and Rube Walker to the Dodgers for Bruce Edwards, Joe Hatten, Eddie Miksis, and Gene Hermanski. The deal, which prevents the coveted ‘Handy Andy’ from going to the rival Giants, is the first of many to be made by Buzzy Bavasi, Brooklyn’s new general manager. (1)
  • 1964 - In a six-player transaction that also includes Jack Spring, Paul Toth, Doug Clemens, and Bobby Shantz, Chicago trades a little-known outfielder named Lou Brock, who will become a fixture with the Redbirds for the next fifteen years, amassing 3,023 career hits, to St. Louis for right-hander Ernie Broglio. The deal, thought at the time to be a steal for the Cubs, will become infamous when the former 20-game winner pitches poorly for his new team, posting a 7-19 record during his brief two and half seasons with the team, and the 24-year-old they gave up enjoys a Hall of Fame career. (1)
  • 1969 - En route to setting the National League record of playing in 1,117 consecutive games, Billy Williams, after fouling a pitch off his foot in yesterday’s contest, hobbles to the plate as a pinch-hitter in the Cubs’ 7-6 loss to Cincinnati at Crosley Field. The contest marks the first time “Sweet Swingin’ Billy” has not been in the starting lineup during the 878 games of the streak. (1)
  • Cubs Birthdays: Charlie Dexter, Babe Dahlgren, Gene Baker, Billy Williams HOF, Ty Cline, Champ Summers. Also notable: Dusty Baker, Wade Boggs HOF.

Sources:

*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!