... 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:
- 1880 - At Strawberry Hill, located on the shores of Nantasket Beach in Hull, Massachusetts, the first baseball game played at night takes place under artificial light with teams made up of employees from the retail competitors of Jordan Marsh and R.H. White. The contest, illuminated by lights placed on three wooden towers erected five hundred feet apart from one another by the Northern Electric Light Company, supplying the brightness of 90,000 candles, ends in a poorly-played 16-16 tie, when the players need to catch the last ferry back to Boston. (1)
- 1920 - Shaken by the possible effects of the scandal surrounding baseball, club owners begin a series of meetings to reform the game. Albert D. Lasker, a Chicago advertising man and minority stockholder, of the Cubs, proposes a three-man board of non-baseball men, with the chairman to be paid $25,000 year. Among the names mentioned: Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, former president William Howard Taft, General George Pershing, Senator Hiram Johnson, General Leonard Wood, and ex-treasury secretary William McAdoo. (3)
- 1929 - The Cubs beat the Cards twice, 11-7 and 12-10, before 81,000 fans at Wrigley Field. A crowd of 38,000 sees the morning game and 43,000 watch the afternoon game. Rogers Hornsby has two home runs and Hack Wilson has one. (3)
- 1955 - Cubs middle infielder Ernie Banks sets the record for home runs hit by a shortstop by hitting his 40th dinger in a 12-2 rout of the Cardinals. ‘Mr. Cub’ will extend the record finishing this season with 44 and will hit 48 in 1958. (1,3)
- 1965 - The Cubs beat St. Louis, 5-3, at Wrigley Field, as Ernie Banks hits his 400th home run, a three-run shot off Curt Simmons in the third. Simmons teed up the 400th home run of Willie Mays in 1963. Banks will end the season with 28 home runs and 106 RBI. Ron Santo and Billy Williams will also knock in over 100 runs, the only team with three such sluggers, but the Cubs will finish eighth. ‘Mr. Cub’ will finish his 19-year career with 512 home runs, including 277 home runs stroked as a shortstop, the record at the time of his retirement. (1,3)
- 1972 - Milt Pappas of the Cubs hurls a no-hit game in beating the Padres, 8-0. Pappas has a perfect game until pinch-hitter Larry Stahl walks with two outs in the ninth inning. Pappas and C Randy Hundley both say of the pitches to Stahl, “They were so close I don’t know how Stahl could take them, but they were balls.” Pappas later comments on the plate umpire: “he had a chance to become famous as the umpire in the 12th perfect game in history, but he blew it.” Pappas retires former Cub Garry Jestadt to finish the game. (1,3)
- 1986 - The Astros and Cubs play 14 innings and use a major league record 53 players in the game. Billy Hatcher’s home run off Greg Maddux in the top of the 18th inning is the difference in Houston’s 8-7 victory at Wrigley Field. (1)
- 1998 - Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa hits his 56th homer of the season, tying the franchise record established in 1930 Hack Wilson. The right fielder’s solo round-tripper in the sixth inning of the Wrigley Field contest off Jason Bere contributes to Chicago’s 4-2 victory over Cincinnati. (1)
- 2002 - The Cubs beat the Brewers, 17-4, to salvage a split in their doubleheader after Milwaukee takes the opener by a score of 4-2 on solo homers by Ron Belliard (2), Eric Young and Jose Hernandez. Glendon Rusch wins his 8th straight over the Cubs. Chicago P Kerry Wood ties a major-league record in the second game by fanning four Brewers in the 4th inning. Wood also homers off Andrew Lorraine, one of five gophers he serves up. Another is Sammy Sosa’s 494th homer, moving him ahead of Lou Gehrig on the all-time list. (3)
- Cubs birthdays: Al Spalding HOF, Len Rice, Gordon Massa, Jason Hammel,
Jesus Luzardo vultured his 13th victory in relief of Jon Lester, who pitched well but gave up a game-tying, eighth-inning home run to Buster Posey, faded but still serviceable. Anthony Rizzo came off the bench in the bottom of the ninth and sent the fans home happy with a long drive to right field that reached the seats with room to spare.
The simCubs are 94-45 and are creeping up on their season high of 52 games over .500 again. Greg Allen and Max Fried are back on the squad and are eligible for the post-season. Allen edged out Albert Almora, who just hasn’t hit at all.
Johnny Cueto and Alec Mills match up today. All game video and related material is available commercial-free, 24/7, at the BCB Media Center.
- (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. Thanks for reading!