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:
- 1894 - King Kelly, probably the most popular baseball player of the 19th century, dies of pneumonia in Boston, MA. (2)
- 1920 - At a meeting to depose Ban Johnson as the American League president, a new 12-team National League, made up of the dissenting 11 teams plus one of the five teams loyal to Johnson, is agreed to. John Heydler will be its president and federal judge Kenesaw Landis the proposed chairman of the new commission. This revolutionary plan for a new senior circuit will be discarded a few days later, after four of the five American League clubs still backing Johnson agree to a joint meeting on November 12th in Chicago, IL. (2)
Ban Johnson bio. (3)
- 1934 - Ford Frick, National League publicity director, is named league president. He will eventually become Commissioner. (1,2)
Ford Frick bio. (3)
- 1977 - Hall of Fame manager Bucky Harris dies on his 81st birthday. Harris won two World Championships and three American League pennants over a 29-year career with the Washington Senators and New York Yankees, among other teams. (2) (see below, also Bucky Harris bio. (3))
- 1989 - Chicago Cubs outfielder Jerome Walton wins the 1989 National League Rookie of the Year Award, collecting 22 of 24 first-place votes to defeat teammate Dwight Smith. They are the first NL teammates to finish 1-2 in the voting since Philadelphia Phillies rookies Jack Sanford and Ed Bouchee in 1957. Walton also becomes the first Cubs player to win rookie honors since Billy Williams in 1961. (2)
- 1998 - Chicago Cubs right fielder Sammy Sosa is named the National League MVP. Sosa hit 66 home runs and led the National League in RBI with 158 while carrying his team to the playoffs. (2)
Sosa bio. (3)
- 2005 - Infielder Neifi Perez and the Chicago Cubs agree to a $5 million, two-year contract. Perez, who became a free agent in October, hit .274 with nine home runs and 54 RBI last season. (2)
Today in history:
- 392 - Roman Emperor Theodosius declares Christian religion the state religion.
- 1519 - 1st meeting of Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II and Spanish Conquistador Hernán Cortés in Tenochtitlan, Mexico.
- 1789 - Bourbon Whiskey first distilled from corn by Elijah Craig in Bourbon, Kentucky.
- 1895 - German physicist Wilhelm Röentgen produces and detects electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range today known as X-rays or Röentgen rays.
- (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.
There is a very active baseball history community and there are many facets to their views. We strive for clarity. Please be aware that we are trying to make the historical record as represented by our main sources coherent and as accurate as is possible. No item is posted here without corroboration. Some of these items spread from site to site without being verified. That is exactly why we ask for reputable sources, so that we can address them to the originators. BBRef is very cooperative in this regard, as are SABR and the Baseball Almanac. We have removed thenationalpastime from our sourcing list, as there have been multiple complaints about their content and they do not respond to attempts to communicate.
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