On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, Bleed Cubbie Blue brings a you a light-hearted, Cubs-centric look at baseball’s colorful past, with plenty of the lore and deep dives into various narratives that expand over the course of time. Here’s a handy Cubs timeline, to help you follow along. Don’t be afraid to click the links for ‘inside baseball’ on the entries, which change from year to year as we re-examine the subjects.
Today in baseball history:
- 1880 - In Albany’s Riverside Park, Lip Pike hits a ball over the wall and into the river. RF Lon Knight begins to go after the ball in a boat but gives up. Few parks have ground rules about giving the batter an automatic home run on a hit over the fence. (2)
- 1903 - The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Boston Red Sox, 7-3, in the first World Series game ever played. Jimmy Sebring hit the first home run. Deacon Phillippe was the winning pitcher and Cy Young the loser. (1)
- 1908 - Pitching for Kansas City of the American Association, Smokey Joe Wood hurls a 1-0 no-hitter against Milwaukee. (1)
- 1932 - Babe Ruth, as legend has it, calls his home run against Chicago Cubs pitcher Charlie Root in the 5th inning of Game 3 of the World Series, won by the New York Yankees, 7-5, at Wrigley Field. Ruth and Lou Gehrig each hit two homers for the Yankees. (2)
- 1946 - For the first time in major league history, a playoff series to determine a league’s championship was played between the St. Louis Cardinals and Brooklyn Dodgers. The Cardinals took the first game, 4-2, as Howie Pollet held the Dodgers to two hits, a homer and an RBI-single by Howie Schultz. (2)
- 1957 - Boston baseball writers reaffirm their decision to bar women from the press box and refuse to allow Doris O’Donnell, a Cleveland feature writer traveling with the Indians, to sit in the Fenway Park press area. (2)
- 1959 - Despite growing pressure to expand, major league owners, at a meeting at John Galbreath’s farm in Ohio, decline the option to add new teams to the existing American and National Leagues. Given there are no plans for expansion, Commissioner Ford Frick will announce at a later date that Major League Baseball will “favorably consider an application for major league status within the present baseball structure by an acceptable group of eight clubs which would qualify under ten specifications.” (2)
- 1961 - Roger Maris hit his 61st home run against Tracy Stallard of the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. The homer eclipsed Babe Ruth’s 34-year-old single-season home run record. The Yankees won, 1-0. (1,2)
- 1968 - The Cubs climb above the .500 mark the first time all season with a 6-5 win over the Phillies. Chicago’s Billy Williams sets a new record for outfielders by playing his 695th straight game. (1)
- 1973 - In the first game of a scheduled make-up doubleheader at Wrigley Field, a day after the regular season ended, the New York Mets beat the Chicago Cubs, 6-1, to capture the National League East flag. The Mets, who were 11½ games behind and in last place on August 5th, by winning their 82nd game (the lowest number of victories ever to win a title), clinch the division, making the second game of the twin bill unnecessary. (2)
- 2008 - The Dodgers hammer the Cubs into submission to take a 1-0 lead in the NLDS at Wrigley Field. James Loney hits a grand slam off a wild Ryan Dempster, who walks seven batters in 4⅔ innings. Manny Ramirez and Russell Martin add solo homers to ice the 7-2 victory. (2)
- 2014 - Major League Baseball announces that it will test some new rules to speed up the flow of the game during this coming Arizona Fall League season. Hitters will no longer be allowed to step out of the batter’s box during an at-bat; pitchers will need to begin their pitching motion within 20 seconds of receiving the ball; a batter will take his base automatically when an intentional walk is called for, without the need for the pitcher to throw four pitches outside the strike zone; teams will be limited to three mound conferences, now called time-outs, per game; and there will be a set maximum time before the first pitch is delivered following a change of innings or a pitching change. Many of these changes will be be introduced at all levels of organized baseball in future years. (2)
- 2018 - In Wrigley Field, the Brewers crown an outstanding second half by defeating the Cubs, 3-1, their eighth straight win. They score twice in the 8th, with a single by unheralded SS Orlando Arcia, who goes 4-for-4, starting things off against Justin Wilson, one of six relievers used by Joe Maddon on the day. A double by Domingo Santana followed by Lorenzo Cain’s single drives in the go-ahead run and Ryan Braun adds another insurance run. Josh Hader then pitches the final two innings for the save, giving Milwaukee the best record in the National League. (2)
- (1) — Today in Baseball History.
- (2) — Baseball Reference.
- (3) — Society for American Baseball Research.
- (4) — Baseball Hall of Fame.
- (5) — This Day in Chicago Cubs history.
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