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 unpacked history:
2015 — I begin as a Bleed Cubbie Blue front-page writer, saying hello to BCB readership in that edition of the Cub Tracks feature, which ran as it does now, four days a week. This is the 563rd episode of Baseball history unpacked, which began on March 6, 2018 and continues unabated.
Little-known facts — I have a degree in journalism, from what is now the Cronkite School, at ASU. It is three years younger than David Ross. The No. 1 song on the charts when I graduated was Kim Carnes’ “Bette Davis Eyes”. The Cubs were 6-27 when I got my sheepskin, on a Thursday. Leon Durham went 4-for-4 that day, with a homer and three ribeyes. Randy Martz pitched a complete game. Larry Biittner drove in the opposition’s only run.
One in 100 people are said to be autistic. I am among that number.
Today in baseball history:
- 1888 - “World Championship” Baseball Series, Sportsman’s Park, St. Louis; St. Louis Browns rout NY Giants, 18-7 in Game 10 but lose series, 6-4. (Most authorities say that 1903 was the true beginning of the World Series.) There’s a Chicago connection as Charles Comiskey managed the Browns. (2)
- 1924 - The Chicago Cubs trade pitcher Vic Aldridge and first basemen George Grantham and Al Niehaus to the Pittsburgh Pirates for 1B Charlie Grimm, SS Rabbit Maranville and P Wilbur Cooper. Grantham will hit .300 in six seasons for Pittsburgh, while Grimm will play 11 seasons with Chicago, eventually becoming player-manager. In 1925, Maranville will be named a player-manager as well. Cooper, who has averaged 20 wins a year over the past six seasons, will drop to 12-14 with the Cubs. (2)
- 1960 - Trying to jump ahead of the NL, the AL admits Los Angeles and Washington to the league with plans to have the new clubs begin competition in 1961. Calvin Griffith is given permission to move the existing Washington Senators franchise to Minnesota. League president Joe Cronin says the AL will play a 162-game schedule, with 18 games against each opponent.
- 1985 - The Kansas City Royals become only the sixth team in major league history to rally from a three-games-to-one deficit to win the World Series. Bret Saberhagen pitches a five-hit, 11-0 shutout over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 7 and is named Series MVP. (2)
- 1998 - President Bill Clinton signs a bill overturning part of baseball’s 70-year-old antitrust exemption, putting baseball on par with other professional sports on labor matters. The new law overrides part of a 1922 United States Supreme Court ruling that exempted baseball from antitrust laws on grounds that it was not interstate commerce. That exemption deprived baseball players of protections enjoyed by other professional athletes and that the players’ association blamed for contributing to baseball’s eight work stoppages since 1972, including the disastrous 232-day strike in 1994-1995. (1,2)
- 2004 - Under the moon’s reddish tint caused by a lunar eclipse, the Boston Red Sox exorcise 86 years of agonizing losses by winning their first World Series since 1918. In one of the most dominating Fall Classic performances, Boston, who never trailed during the four games, blank the St. Louis Cardinals, 3-0, to complete the sweep. Johnny Damon hits a home run on the fourth pitch of the game, pitcher Derek Lowe makes it stand up and Manny Ramirez, who batted .412 (7 for 17) with a home run and four RBIs, is named Boston’s first World Series MVP. (2)
- 2007 - Yu Darvish strikes out 13 in a 3-1 win in the 2007 Japan Series. He ties the Japan Series record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game, held previously by Kimiyasu Kudoh. Fernando Seguignol provides all of the offense with a three-run homer in the first inning off Kenshin Kawakami. It is one of just two hits Kawakami allows; he retires 21 straight batters at one point while taking the loss for the Chunichi Dragons. (2)
Also notable: Theodore Roosevelt, Roy Lichtenstein, Sylvia Plath, John Cleese, Kelly Osbourne, Scott Weiland.
- 710 - Saracen invasion of Sardinia.
- 1275 - Traditional founding of the city of Amsterdam.
- 1682 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is founded by Englishman William Penn.
- 1775 - US Navy forms as the Continental Navy.
- 1871 - Democratic leader of Tammany Hall NY, Boss Tweed is arrested after the NY Times exposes his corruption.
- 1938 - DuPont announces its new synthetic polyamide fiber will be called “nylon.”
- (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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