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Baseball history unpacked, January 13

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Scenes from the rich tapestry of the great game.

Woman umpire Bernice Gera at Holy Family baseball game at Cu Photo by Fred Morgan/NY Daily News Archive via 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:

  • 1958 - On the eve of conferences to discuss the impact of major league telecasts on minor league attendance, Senator Kenneth Keating urges baseball to proceed with caution. The Republican legislator representing New York believes broadcasting big-league games in out-of-town markets could doom the existence of the minor leagues, which have already formally appealed to Congress about their ‘desperate plight.’ (1)
  • 1959 - State Senator Joe Cowgill inntroduces a bill to build an eight-million-dollar stadium in Delaware Township, dependent on the decision of the nearby Phillies to move to southern New Jersey. The proposed legislation is the result of team owner Bob Carpenter threatening to leave Philadelphia if the City of Brotherly Love doesn’t build a new ballpark for the team. (1)
  • 1972 - Bernice Gera, barred for five years due to gender discrimination, wins her landmark lawsuit against the National Association of Baseball Leagues (NABL). The Ernest, New York housewife will become the first female umpire in a professional game when she makes her debut in June at Geneva, N.Y., arbitrating a New York-Penn League contest. (1,3)
  • 1978 - Hall of Fame manager Joe McCarthy dies in Buffalo, New York, at the age of 90. McCarthy was the first manager to win pennants with both National and American League teams, won nine league titles overall and seven World Series championships. (3)
  • 1982 - Hank Aaron and Frank Robinson win election to the Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility. Aaron established a major league record with 755 home runs, while Robinson led the Baltimore Orioles to two World Championships and was named Most Valuable Player in both the American and National Leagues. Aaron falls nine votes shy of becoming the first-ever unanimous selection, and his 97.8 election percentage is second only to Ty Cobb’s 98.2 percent in the inaugural 1936 election. Robinson was also the first African-American manager in major league history. (3)
  • 1988 - Longtime National League star Steve Garvey announces his retirement. (3)
  • 2005 - At the owners meeting in Scottsdale, Arizona, major league baseball and the players association, agree in principle on a stricter drug-testing policy, in response to the scrutiny of national lawmakers. Addressing a problem largely ignored for years, the new program, which includes steroids but not amphetamines, randomly test players year-round, with first-time offenders suspended for ten days and a fourth violation resulting in a one year ban for the offending player. (1)
  • 2020 - The hammer comes down on the Astros as Major League Baseball announces its punishment in relation with their use of technology to steal their opponents’ signs during their World Series-winning campaign in 2017: GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch are both suspended for a full season, and the team will have to pay a fine of $5 million in addition to losing its top two picks in the next two amateur drafts. Team owner Jim Crane takes it one step further and fires both Luhnow and Hinch almost immediately after the announcement of the suspensions. (3)
  • Cubs birthdays: Emmett O’Neill, Steve Mesner, Mike Tyson, Jose Nunez, Kevin Foster.

Common sources:

*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.