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Baseball history unpacked, September 4

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Cubs, simCubs, and MLB news

Eddie Waitkus
The storied Eddie Waitkus
Photo by Bettmann Archive/Getty Images

... 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:

  • 1891 - Cap Anson shows up for today’s game wearing a wig and a long white beard, much to the delight of the Chicago crowd. Anson wears the costume throughout the game, which his Colts win over the Beaneaters 5-3. (2)
  • 1902 - Chicago Orphans rookie Alex Hardy debuts with a 1-0 shutout victory over Brooklyn, and becomes the first 20th century National League pitcher to toss a shutout in his first game. It’s happened twice already in the American League. (3)
  • 1908 - In a game, the significance of which will not be recognized for another three weeks, the Pirates and Cubs are tied 0-0 in the last of the 10th at Pittsburgh. With two outs and the bases loaded, Pittsburgh’s Owen Wilson singles to CF, scoring Fred Clarke with the winning run. Warren Gill, on first base, does not get to second but stops short, turns, and heads for the dugout, a common practice. The Cubs’ Johnny Evers calls for the ball from Jimmy Slagle, touches second, and claims the run does not count as Gill has been forced. The lone umpire, Hank O’Day, has left the field. When queried, he rules that Clarke had already scored, so the run counts. The Cubs protest to league president Harry Pulliam, but are denied. This is the first time the Cubs try this tactic, but not the last, as the Fred Merkle game will demonstrate. (2,3)
  • 1916 - Reds’ player-manager Christy Mathewson, pitching his only game, not in a Giant uniform, beats his long-time nemesis Mordecai’ Three Finger’ Brown and the Cubs, 10-8. In the 25 contests the two legends have faced one another, Matty takes a 13-12 advantage in their final meeting by winning the last decision. (1)
  • 1930 - Rogers Hornsby returns to the Chicago lineup as the Cubs beat the Pirates. Hornsby had been absent since Memorial Day because of a broken ankle. (3)
  • 1991 - The Statistical Accuracy Committee re-defines a no-hit game as one which ends after nine or more innings with one team failing to get a hit, thereby removing 50 games from the list that had previously been considered hitless, including the 1959 performance of Harvey Haddix’s 12 perfect innings against the Braves and Jim Maloney’s 1965 1-0 loss to the Mets in 11-innings.

Also, following commissioner Fay Vincent’s recommendation, baseball’s committee on statistical accuracy votes to eliminate the distinction of the number of games played in a league’s schedule in determining the all-time home run mark hit in a season. The decision can’t take away an asterisk because it never existed in the record books, but it does remove Babe Ruth’s name, leaving the other Yankee outfielder, Roger Maris, as the undisputed home run champ with 61 he hit in 1961. (1)

  • 1993 - Jim Abbott, born without a right hand, no-hits the Indians at Yankee Stadium, 4-0, becoming the first pinstripe pitcher in a decade to throw a no-no. In the ninth inning, leadoff hitter Kenny Lofton is loudly booed by the fans after he fouls off a bunt in an attempt to make the one-handed pitcher field a ball. (1)
  • 2011 - In an episode of the HBO comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm, Bill Buckner, appearing as himself, is promptly thrown out of a shiva service because one of the mourners is a Red Sox fan who hasn’t forgiven him for his infamous error in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series. The former Boston first baseman redeems himself when he uses his baseball skills to catch a falling baby, who has ricocheted off the firemen’s rescue net after being thrown out of a burning building. (1)
  • 2018 - On a rare play, Trea Turner of the Nationals is thrown out on a walk. He takes off for second with a full count on Bryce Harper and while the pitch is called Ball Four, C Yadier Molina of the Cardinals still throws to second. Turner is called out after a video review for overrunning the bag ever so slightly, negating the immunity he had until he reached it. Observers say that the unusual play epitomizes the Nationals’ frustrating season, which has seen them fall out of contention early after being prohibitive favorites to win a division title before the year began. (3)
  • Cubs birthdays: Red Corriden, Eddie Waitkus, Jim McAnany. Also notable: Mike Piazza HOF.

SimNews:

The 94-46 simCubs resume their season today at 1 p.m. CT, with Yu Darvish (9-6, 4.24) facing Sonny Gray and the 65-75 simReds, in tow for their last series of the season. It’ll be good to see the back of the pesky Cincinnati squad and move another step closer to October.

The simCubs have slumped just a bit but look to be putting things back together, just in time for the playoffs. The fifth starter won’t be as much of an issue as all hands man the bullpen, and the team as is looks plenty formidable, with plenty of representation on the leaderboards and the best record in the league.

All game video and related material is available commercial-free, 24/7, at the BCB Media Center.

Sources:

*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!