.. 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-threaded seams from the rich tapestry of Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball history*.
Today in baseball history:
- 1882 - Chicago sets a National League record for runs by beating Cleveland 35-4. Seven Chicago players get four or more hits, and six score four or more runs. The record will last until June 29, 1897, when Chicago will pile up thirty-six runs against Louisville. (2)
- 1959 - As a prelude to the International League game between the Havana Sugar Kings and visiting Rochester Red Wings, Fidel Castro pitches two innings for his pickup team “Los Barbudos” against a Military Police squad. Castro pitches both innings, strikes out two batters with the aid of some friendly calls, and grounds out to short. This well-photographed event is El Jefe’s only mound appearance outside of intramural college baseball, according to Cuban baseball expert Peter Bjarkman. (3)
- 1968 - ChiSox reliever Hoyt Wilhelm breaks Cy Young’s record when he makes his 907th career appearance, pitching a third of an inning in which he gives up a run on two hits to be on the short side of the team’s 3-2 loss to Oakland. The 45-year-old knuckleballer, who will retire in 1972 after pitching in 1,070 games, will finish his 21-year major league career with a 143-122 (.540) won-loss record and 228 saves, hurling for the Giants, Cardinals, Indians, Orioles, White Sox, Angels, Braves, Cubs, and Dodgers. (1)
- 1969 - At Wrigley Field, Ken Holtzman tops Don Sutton for the 4th straight time - three this year - as Chicago beats the Dodgers, 5-3. For a frustrated Sutton, it is a Cubs-record 13th straight loss to Chicago stretching back to his rookie year. (3)
- 1970 - For the fourth time in his career, Billy Williams has the only hit(s) for the Cubs, as he connects safely twice against the Braves’ Phil Niekro. Each time previously, Williams also had multiple-hit games to spoil no-hitters. Niekro coasts to a 9-0 victory over Fergie Jenkins. (3)
- 1974 - Whitey Lockman becomes the team’s director of player development and will be replaced as the Cubs manager by third base coach Jim Marshall. During his three-year stint in the dugout, the Lowell, North Carolina native compiled a 157-162 (.492) record. (1)
- 1983 - In the memorable “Pine Tar Game” at Yankee Stadium, George Brett hits an apparent two-run home run off Rich Gossage to give the Kansas City Royals a 5-4 lead with two outs in the 9th inning, only to have the homer taken away when Yankees manager Billy Martin, at the urging of coach Don Zimmer, points out that the pine tar on Brett’s bat handle exceeds the 17 inches allowed in the rules. As a result, Brett is called out for illegally batting the ball, giving New York a 4-3 victory. Brett goes ballistic and the Royals immediately protest. American League President Lee MacPhail overrules his umpires for the first time, saying that the umpire’s call went against the spirit of the rule, which should be rewritten and clarified, and that the home run will stand. The game will be resumed from that point on August 18th. (3)
- Cubs birthdays: Joe Schultz, Preston Ward, Mike Adams, Jason Smith, Miguel Socolovich. Also notable: Tommy McCarthy HOF.
The 72-30 simCubs opened a four-game series in St. Louis by swatting four deep flies and defeating the stinkin’ simCards 7-2. Javier Baez (18) homered, Kyle Schwarber drove in a run with a double, Kris Bryant (23) walloped a solo dinger, Victor Caratini singled in a run, and Ian Happ (24) went deep while Yu Darvish (9-4) was dealing, holding the Cardinals hitless through 6 innings, fashioning a 5-0 lead, before Paul DeJong bounced a single up the middle in the bottom of the seventh to break the goose egg and later came around to score on Tyler O’Neill’s two-run double. Ian Happ (25) promptly deposited a ball in the stands for a two-run homer to restore the margin and Dan Winkler (H) and Ryan Tepera held on for the win.
In today’s game, Jon Lester (12-4, 3.36) faces Jack Flaherty (7-8, 3.56). Ian Miller will be in left field in place of Kyle Schwarber, whose average has fallen thirty points in the last month and whose production has suffered. We’ll try to get Kyle going again by batting him 6 or 7 for a bit (against right-handers) — that tactic worked well with Willson Contreras and Happ, who are among the club’s offensive leaders.
- (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.