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Baseball history unpacked, June 5

#Cubs, #simCubs, and #MLB news

does whatever a spider can
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

The simCubs overcame some locational difficulty (c’mon —all games SHOULD be played at Wrigley!) and also overcame the Cincinnati Reds 6-4, with Kyle Schwarber accounting for two-thirds of the runs with a first-inning granny and Craig Kimbrel giving up a couple in the ninth and getting a save that he wouldn’t have gotten with a clean inning. Jon Lester won his 10th of the season and 200th of his storied career as the Cubs edged one day closer to the postseason.

Some highlights! Brandon Palmer will be discussing the standings and league leaders and All-Star bids and the MLB Draft in his interview later today.

Tyler Chatwood will be facing Anthony Desclafani in the second game of the four-game set. Al will have more about that in the game post (at 2:30 p.m. CT, for our 3 p.m. start). I’ll drop the specific URL to the contest in the game thread, but you can lurk at the BCB Media Center and catch it there as well. All past games and highlights reels are available there too, if you want the full #simCubs experience.

... 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:

  • 1920 - Citing the abolition of the spitball as the reason for the dramatic increase of home runs, Tom Shibe denies the baseballs are livelier this season. The A’s vice president is also a member of the company which makes the baseballs. (1)
  • 1948 - Richie Ashburn of the Philadelphia Phillies hits safely for the 23rd straight game in a Phillies’ 6-5 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field, setting a 20th century National League record for a rookie. ‘Whitey’ establishes a 20th-century mark, which will be matched this season by Alvin Dark, an infielder with the Braves. Benito Santiago will hold the record by century’s end. (1,3)
  • 1959 - In a 10-5 loss to the Cubs, Pittsburgh’s Dick Stuart becomes, in the words of Les Biederman, “the first player in the 50-year history of Forbes Field to ride a ball over the centerfield fence, a few feet to the left of the flagpole.” While Stuart is perhaps the first major leaguer to literally clear the wall, mention must be made of both Negro League great Josh Gibson, who did it twice, in 1930 and 1946, and Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby, who actually hit the flagpole on April 24, 1924. Biederman continues: “Stuart faced Glen Hobbie with Smoky Burgess aboard and rifled a shot straight over George Altman’s head. Altman raced back and watched the flight of the ball. It disappeared over the 457-foot mark on the centerfield fence, longest part of Forbes Field. Nobody could quite accurately estimate how far the ball traveled and by how far it cleared the wall. Altman guessed 25 to 30 feet but Walt Moryn, who had a side view of the ball from left field, went on record that the ball cleared the wall by about 40 to 50 feet.” (1,3)
  • 1987 - Before the Mets-Pirates game at Shea Stadium, Spider-Man marries Mary Jane Watson. In attendance at the wedding ceremony, presided over by Marvel Comics president Stan Lee, are Spidey’s friends Captain America and the Hulk, as well as his enemies, Doctor Doom and the Green Goblin. (1)
  • 2006 - Carlos Zambrano holds the Houston Astros hitless for 7⅓ innings before Preston Wilson hits a single, leading the Chicago Cubs to an 8-0 victory at Minute Maid Park. Zambrano strikes out eight and helps himself with the bat, hitting a home run with four runs batted in. (3)
  • 2016 - Jake Arrieta of the Cubs loses to the Diamondbacks, 3-2. It’s his first loss after 20 straight wins dating back to July 25, 2015, when he was on the losing end of Cole Hamelsno-hitter; it’s the third longest winning streak since 1913, tied with Roger Clemens and trailing only Roy Face (22) and Carl Hubbell (24). (3)
  • 2019 - It seems like former All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel has finally found a home. A free agent since the end of the World Series, he remained unsigned due to his insistence on obtaining a multi-year contract, and the compensation in the form of top draft pick in the 2019 amateur draft that a team signing him would have had to pay. With the draft now out of the way, the Cubs prove ready to bite on a longer-term deal, offering Kimbrel a three-year contract worth $43 million.
  • Cubs birthdays: Jim Andrews, Billy Maloney. Also notable: Jack Chesbro HOF.


*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, and please ... drive home safely.