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:
- 1900 - The American League announces that in 1901, it intends to put a team in Baltimore, MD led by John McGraw, and one in Washington, DC. But the league pledges to stay out of Philadelphia and St. Louis unless the National League starts a fight. (2)
- 1911 - Ty Cobb of the Detroit Tigers and Wildfire Schulte of the Chicago Cubs win the newly established Chalmers Awards, which go to the league’s most valuable players. Cobb batted .420 with an American League-leading 127 RBI, while Schulte led the National League with 21 home runs and 107 RBI. Using a point system — eight for a first-place vote, seven for second, and so on — the eight voting writers give Cobb the maximum 64 points. Winners receive Chalmers automobiles. (1,2)
- 2006 - Pitcher Cory Lidle of the New York Yankees is killed when a small plane he is in crashes into a residential building in New York City.
- 2011 - Matt Murton of the Hanshin Tigers singles off Shun Tono to bring his hitting streak to 30 games. That ties Isao Harimoto and Yutaka Fukumoto for fourth-longest in Nippon Pro Baseball history and breaks Glenn Braggs’ record of 29 by a gaijin. Murton’s streak was snapped the next day by Tetsuya Utsumi. (2)
- 2016 - The Cubs clinch their NLDS thanks to a tremendous ninth-inning comeback in San Francisco. Trailing 5-2 and looking completely anemic against Matt Moore, they victimize a parade of five different relievers to score four runs in the fateful inning and take the lead; Aroldis Chapman then saves his third game of the series with a perfect ninth to send the Giants packing, ending their string of three consecutive World Series wins in even-numbered years. (2)
- 2017 - The Nationals force a Game 5 in the NLDS by shutting out the Cubs, 5-0 at Wrigley Field. Stephen Strasburg pitches seven scoreless innings and leaves with a 1-0 lead, thanks to an unearned run against Jake Arrieta, then Michael Taylor deals the crushing blow with a grand slam off Wade Davis with two outs in the top of the eighth. (2)
- 2020 - Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, iconic member of the “Big Red Machine” in the 1970s as the back-to-back National League MVP winner in 1975 and 1976, passes away at the age of 77. He is the fifth Cooperstown enshrinee to die since August 31st. (2)
Today’s cover boy — Matt Murton was a Cub from 2005-08. He was a full-time player in 2006, and wasn’t terrible (good defensively, he finished the year leading the Cubs in batting average, at .297, with 13 home runs and 62 runs batted in), but he got hurt, and then traded, and never got a shot after that in two years with Oakland and Colorado, and went on to Japan.
- (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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