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Baseball history unpacked, July 20

Cubs, simCubs, and MLB news from yesterday and today

Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

It’s the last week of simCubs threads unless the MLB season falls in the sea like the castle made of sand it is. SimCubs games will post at the BCB Media Center on game days and up-to date schedules, stats, and standings will post before/after each series. The news and updates have been moved to below the ‘birthdays’ section on both this page and on Cub Tracks, where we will continue coverage.

... 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:

  • 1907 - Chicago’s Carl Lundgren and New York’s Christy Mathewson are stingy today with the Cubs twirler allowing just four hits while the Cubs scratch three off Matty. The Giants score in the fourth when Cy Seymour parks a drive in the bleachers with two on. Prevailing rules make the hit a single, with just one run scoring: it is enough as Matty wins, 1-0. Joe Tinker is hitless against Matty, the only time this year that Mathewson shuts down his nemesis. (3)
  • 1911 - Frank Schulte hits for the cycle to help the Cubs tip the Phils, 4-3. “Wildfire” will end the year as the first player ever to top the 20 mark in doubles, triples, homers, and stolen bases. Only Willie Mays in 1957 will match him this century; the feat will be matched twice in 2007, by Curtis Granderson and Jimmy Rollins. (3)
  • 1933 - Babe Herman hit three home runs, including a grand slam, leading the Chicago Cubs to a 10-1 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies at Wrigley Field. (2)
  • 1938 - Catcher Gabby Hartnett replaces Charlie Grimm as manager of the third-place Cubs. (3)
  • 1944 - The Browns’ Nels Potter becomes the first pitcher suspended for throwing spitballs. He is banished for 10 days for allegedly “putting an illegal substance on the ball.” Potter will return and win 19 games for St. Louis. (1,3)
  • 1951 - In a move that will aid their pennant drive, the Giants put OF Bobby Thomson at 3B to replace the slumping Hank Thompson, out with a spike injury. Thomson, who’s been riding the bench since losing his starting job to the rookie Willie Mays, will hit .357 for the rest of the season. Also, in a game against the Reds with All-Star hurler Ewell Blackwell on the mound, the Giants, for the first time, employ their infamous scheme for stealing catchers’ signs using a telescope positioned in the center-field clubhouse. The ‘Jints’ beat Cincinnati, 11-6, and New York will win 22 of the remaining 27 games at the Polo Grounds, overtaking the Dodgers to win the National League pennant. (1,3)
  • 1969 - At Connie Mack Stadium, during the top of the third inning of the nightcap against the Cubs, play is halted with the two teams moving silently to their respective baselines to look skyward as the Phillies’ crowd is informed word has been sent from Neil Armstrong to Mission Control in Houston that the Eagle had landed on the moon. The game will resume after a recording of Kate Smith’s rendition of “God Bless America” is played, along with a prayer for the safety of the astronauts over the loudspeaker. (1)
  • 1970 - With the score tied 1-1 in the ninth, Chicago’s Ken Holtzman walks Hank Aaron and Tommie Aaron homers for a 3-1 Braves victory. (3)
  • 1976 - Hank Aaron hits the 755th, and last, home run of his career, connecting off Dick Drago of the California Angels. Jerry Augustine wins for the Brewers, 6-2. (3)
  • 2001 - The Cincinnati Reds send OF Michael Tucker to the Cubs. In return, they get minor league pitchers Chris Booker and Ben Shaffar. (3)
  • 2004 - At Wrigley Field, Albert Pujols goes 5-for-5, including three home runs and five RBIs, as the Cardinals beat Central Division rivals the Cubs, 11 - 8. The Redbird first baseman’s first career three-homer game helps St. Louis to erase a six-run deficit. (1,3)
  • 2018 - Matt Carpenter hits three homers and two doubles to lead the Cardinals to a 17-5 win over the Cubs. He is just the second hitter to achieve that particular combination of extra-base hits, after Kris Bryant, and ties the club record for total bases in a game, with 16. (3)
  • Cubs birthdays: Gary Woods, Jake Fox, Matt Szczur, Duane Underwood Jr. Also notable: Heinie Manush HOF.

SimCubs news: The (70-29) simCubs swept the Reds behind good-enough pitching by Kyle Hendricks (13-3) and solid relief by Brad Wieck, Max Fried, and Craig Kimbrel, who logged his league-leading 32nd save. Cubs pitching held the Reds to 13 hits for the entire weekend and are facing the (52-47) White Sox today for the penultimate simCubs game thread. Al will post the details in the usual time and place. Here’s the highlights of yesterday’s 3-2 victory, with home runs by Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez in the first and some clutch work by Jason Heyward to drive in Willson Contreras for the eventual game-winner.

Standings. League Leaders.


*We try to vet each item. Please let us know if an item is in error, especially if you have a source. A note: The history of baseball necessarily reflects certain political realities. My official view is centrist, regardless of my personal feelings or failings.

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