... 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:
- 1886 - At Washington’s Swampoodle Grounds, backstop Connie Mack makes his major league debut when the Nationals, in a rare victory, edge the Philadelphia Quakers, 4-3. The journeyman catcher will post the most big league wins and losses as a manager, compiling a 3731-3948 (.486) record with the Pirates and A’s during his 53-year managerial career. (1,3)
- 1886 - Roger Connor becomes the first and only player to hit a ball out of the original Polo Grounds (110th Street and Fifth Avenue). The Giants’ first baseman receives a $500 gold watch from stockbrokers and others to honor his accomplishment. (1,3)
- 1902 - John Malarkey, leading off in the bottom of the 11th inning, hits a game-ending homer off St. Louis right-hander Mike O’Neill to give the Beaneaters a 4-3 victory in the first game of a twin bill at Boston’s South End Grounds. Malarkey becomes the first pitcher in baseball history to earn a victory by hitting his own walk-off home run. (1)
- 1903 - A new National Agreement signed by the National Association of minor league clubs officially organizes professional baseball under one comprehensive set of rules. (2,3)
- 1917 - At Wrigley Field, Military Day is celebrated by a double victory for Chicago over the Reds, with Hippo Vaughn credited with both wins. Vaughn starts the opener and retires after an inning with his team ahead by three runs. The Cubs win, 6-5, with Vic Aldridge allowing two runs in five innings. Aldridge will eventually get credit for the win and not Vaughn. Vaughn then goes nine innings in the nitecap, striking out nine to win, 5-1. (3)
- 1918 - The Red Sox win the World Series in Game 6, on Carl Mays’s second victory, a 2-1 three-hitter. With two on and two out in the third, utility OF George Whiteman lines a hard drive to RF. Max Flack drops it, allowing the only runs off Lefty Tyler. Righty Claude Hendrix, 20-7 during the year, finally makes an appearance, tossing a final inning for the Cubs. Cubs pitchers compile a 1.04 ERA, while Boston’s .186 BA is the lowest ever for a World Series winner, but they compensate by making just one error, a record not beaten this century in a six-game World Series. The Red Sox will realize $1,102 each, the Cubs $671, the smallest winner’s share ever earned. The inning by inning results of the game are relayed to Fort Devans, 58 miles away, via nine homing pigeons. (1)
- 1942 - Paul Gillespie homers in his first major league at-bat, hitting a solo shot off Harry Feldman in the second inning of the Cubs’ 4-3 loss to New York at the Polo Grounds. The Chicago reserve catcher will become the first of only two players in baseball history, along with John Miller (1966-1969), to a hit home run in their first and last big-league at-bats, when he blasts a round-tripper in his final plate appearance in 1945. (1)
- 1955 - In his first and only major league appearance, Fred Van Dusen, entering the game as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning for the Phillies, is hit by a pitch thrown by Humberto Robinson of the Braves. The 18-year-old bonus baby’s career ends with an on-base percentage of 1.000 but without a batting average. (1)
- 1966 - In his first major league at-bat, John Miller homers off Lee Stange in the second inning of the Yankees’ 4-2 victory over Boston at Fenway Park. The 22-year-old left fielder, whose total of 10 hits in his 32-game career will include just two round-trippers, will become the second player to hit home runs in his first and last major league plate appearance when he goes deep as a pinch-hitter for the Dodgers in his final turn at-bat in 1966. (1,3)
- 1968 - Tying a dubious major league record, Cubs right-hander Ferguson Jenkins loses his fifth 1-0 decision of the season when the Mets and Jim McAndrew beat Chicago with a lone run at Wrigley Field. The Canadian-born hurler will finish the season with a 20-15 record but is 20-6 in games in which his team scores a run. (1,3)
- 1969 - The Cubs take a 1-0 lead into the third inning against the Phils when, with a 3-2 count on Dick Allen and runners on first and second, pitcher Dick Selma unexpectedly throws to third base instead of to home. The throws sails over the head of a surprised Ron Santo and the Phils’ Tony Taylor scores the tying run. Selma and Santo had practiced the move in spring training, but had never used it during the season. The Phils go on to win again over Chicago. (3)
- 1971 - At Wrigley Field, Juan Pizarro beats the visiting Cardinals, 7-0, with help from Paul Popovich, who clubs his first major league grand slam. (3)
- 2001 - All major league baseball games are canceled due to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Flight #93, and the Pentagon. Games will not resume until September 17th. The Blue Jays take a 12-hour bus ride from Baltimore back to Toronto, and Yankee Stadium is evacuated as a precautionary measure. Former minor league players Marty Boryczewski, Mark Hindy, Mike Weinberg, and Brent Woodall are killed in the attacks. (3)
- Cubs birthdays: Con Daily, Ray Grimes, Barney Olsen, Eddie Miksis, Dave Roberts, Mike Gordon, Andrew Cashner.
The simCubs won their 99th, Ryan Yarbrough won his 17th, Javier Baez hit a two-run homer and a solo shot, and Jason Heyward and Brett Phillips added solo blasts of their own. Yarbrough faltered in the sixth but the bullpen came through and the Cubs will try to win their 100th game today against Daniel Ponce De Leon (2-12, 6.31) and the Cardinals. The Professor, Kyle Hendricks (17-4, 2.59), will try to teach them a lesson.
Greg Allen and Nico Hoerner will take turns in the lineup at center and second while the Cubs milk Phillips’ hot streak and deploy him in right to give Heyward a day off. Game time is 3 pm CT unless indicated otherwise in the comments. All game video and related material is available commercial-free, 24/7, at the BCB Media Center.
15 games left. The Dodgers clinched the NL West at 93-55. The Braves clinched a postseason appearance at 92-54. Nothing else has been decided yet. Stay tuned! The playoffs are coming!
- (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 vet each item as much as time allows. Please let us know if an item is in error, especially if you have a source. Thanks for reading!