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Baseball history unpacked, August 31

Cubs, simCubs, and MLB news

Boots Day’s birthday today

... 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 select scenes from the rich tapestry of Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball history*.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1909 - The A.J. Reach Company is granted a patent for its cork-centered baseball, which will replace the hard rubber-cored one. This change will be particularly apparent in the National League in 1910 and 1911. (3)
  • 1915 - In the first game of a doubleheader at the Polo Grounds, Cubs’ right-hander Jimmy Lavender no-hits the hometown Giants, 2-0. Next season, the 31 year-old knuckleballer will stymie New York once again, tossing a one-hitter, allowing only an infield safety to Benny Kauff. (1)
  • 1923 - Giants owner Charles Stoneham is indicted by a federal grand jury for perjury. He will also be indicted for mail fraud. He had denied any ownership in two bucket-shop operations that had been found guilty of stock frauds; creditors of the two firms claimed he retained financial interests in both. Other National League owners are rumored to be forming a pool to buy him out, but Stoneham stays out of jail and in the NL. (3)
  • 1937 - Detroit’s rookie Rudy York sets a new record for home runs in a month, hitting his 17th and 18th to eclipse Babe Ruth’s mark set in September 1927, establishing a major league record that lasts until June 1998 when Sammy Sosa hits 19. He knocks in seven runs against Pete Appleton, as Detroit beats Washington, 12-3, (1.3)
  • 1950 - In front of 14,226 fans at Ebbets Field, Gil Hodges becomes the fourth major leaguer in the century to hit four home runs in one game as Brooklyn routs the Braves, 19-3. The Dodger first baseman also ties the major league record for total bases with 17. Carl Furillo is on base for each of the homers. (1)
  • 1963 - In the bottom of the ninth with two outs at Wrigley Field, Ellis Burton hits an ultimate grand slam (a walk-off bases-loaded homer when a team is down three runs) off Houston hurler Hal Woodeshick, giving the Cubs a dramatic 6-5 victory. Chicago had been trailing 5-2 before the switch-hitting center fielder hit his Sayonara Slam, the most memorable of his 17 career round-trippers. (1,3)
  • 1988 - Arbitrator George Nicolau rules against the Major League owners in the “Collusion II” case, agreeing with the players’ contention that the owners conspired to fix the free agent market after the 1986 season. Twelve players will be granted no-risk free agency after the season, as well as monetary compensation. (3)
  • 1989 - Arbitrator Thomas Roberts orders the Major League owners to pay $10.5 million in damages as a result of their collusion against free agents after the 1985 season. (3)
  • 1989 - Minutes before the postseason rosters must be filed, the Cubs obtain 3B Luis Salazar and OF Marvell Wynne from San Diego in exchange for P Calvin Schiraldi, OF Darrin Jackson and 1B Phil Stephenson. Salazar will play a key role in the Cubs’ title run, while of the three new Pad people, only Jackson will perform decently.
  • 2015 - 2015 - On the last day on which trades can be made and the players involved still be eligible for postseason play, a number of deals get done. The Cubs acquire CF Austin Jackson from Seattle for a player to be named later, the Dodgers receive OF Justin Ruggiano, also from Seattle for a player to be named, the Giants get OF Alejandro De Aza from the Red Sox for minor leaguer Luis Ysla and the Royals get Jonny Gomes from Atlanta for SS Luis Valenzuela. (3)
  • Cubs birthdays: Duke Farrell, Ray Mack, Cleo James, Ramon Hernandez, Ramon Webster, Boots Day. Also notable: Eddie Plank HOF, Frank Robinson HOF.


The simCubs played two at old Shea Stadium, splitting the bill. They lost the first game as Yu Darvish pitched himself into a 4-0 handicap, and though the lead changed hands several tims in an exciting contest, it always felt like the Mets had the upper hand.

Not so in the second contest, where the Cubs ran away and hid behind excellent pitching by Ryan Yarbrough, in fact hiding so well that the last three innings were not on the broadcast. Some days are like that. By then, the real Cubs were up 2-0.

Today the Cubs begin a home series against the Giants. All game video and related material is available commercial-free, 24/7, at the BCB Media Center. Most games start at 3 p.m. CT.


*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!