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 St. Louis Cardinals withhold the final month’s pay of all but five players, including John McGraw and Wilbert Robinson, citing late hours, dissipation, and gambling as reasons for the poor showing of the team, which finished tied for fifth place in the National League. (2)
- 1901 - Seven St. Louis Cardinals, including half the pitching staff and the three top hitters - Jesse Burkett, Emmet Heidrick and Bobby Wallace - jump to the new St. Louis Browns American League team. (2)
- 1910 - On one day of rest, Jack Coombs of the Philadelphia Athletics pitches a complete game to beat the Chicago Cubs, 12-5, and give the Athletics a 3-0 lead in the World Series. Coombs also collects three hits and three RBI in the game. (1,2)
- 1947 - Radio rights for the World Series sell for $475,000 for three years. Every franchise but Pittsburgh has sold 1948 TV rights. The New York Giants get $400,000 for radio-TV rights from Chesterfield. (2)
- 1955 - Masaichi Kaneda of the Kokutetsu Swallows strikes out his 350th batter, surpassing the MLB season record of 348, set by Bob Feller in 1948. Kaneda already holds the single-game strikeout record in Japan with 15 in 1952 and 1954 and will go on to hold almost every Japanese pitching record before retiring in 1969. (2)
- 1960 - Coach Ralph Houk, 41 is named to succeed Casey Stengel as manager of the New York Yankees. He briefly led the team during the season when Stengel was hospitalized. (1,2)
- 1999 - Boston eye doctor Carmen Puliafito offers free surgery for Major League umpires during the postseason after umpires blow three calls against the Red Sox during the ALCS. Puliafito, who chairs the ophthalmology department at the Tufts University School of Medicine, suspects some umpires are secretly nearsighted. “That’s the only explanation I have for these three horrible calls.” (2)
- 2004 - The Boston Red Sox become the first team in major league history to win a best-of-seven series after losing the first three games, by beating New York at Yankee Stadium, 10-3, in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series. Johnny Damon hits two home runs, including a grand slam in the fourth inning, backing up the solid pitching of Derek Lowe. Boston joins the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs and the 1975 New York Islanders, both of the National Hockey League, as the only teams in the history of North American professional sports to overcome a 3-0 series deficit to win a seven-game series. (2)
- 2015 - The Mets beat the Cubs, 5-2, to take a three games to none lead in the NLCS. Daniel Murphy homers in his fifth consecutive postseason game, tying a major league record, while Jacob deGrom overcomes a rocky 1st inning to pick up his third win of the playoffs. (2)
- 2016 - The Cubs move to within one game of the World Series with an 8-4 win over the Dodgers in Game 5 of the NLCS. Addison Russell breaks a 1-1 tie with a two-run homer off Joe Blanton in the 6th and Javier Baez adds a bases-loaded double in the eighth. Jon Lester gives up only one run in seven innings to pick up the win as the series heads back to Wrigley Field. (2)
- 2019 - Umpire Eric Cooper*, a veteran of 24 major league seasons, passes away from a heart attack at age 52, only a few days after working the Division Series between the Yankees and Twins. (2)
*Our cover model.
- (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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