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:
- 1928 - National League President John Heydler becomes the first person to propose a baseball rule change calling for a 10th man, or a designated hitter, to bat in place of the pitcher. The NL will vote in favor of the proposal, but the American League will turn it down. (2)
- 1931 - The Chicago Cubs trade future Hall of Famer Hack Wilson and pitcher Bud Teachout to the St. Louis Cardinals for pitcher Burleigh Grimes. Wilson slumped to .261 and 13 home runs after hitting .356 with 56 HR and setting a major league record with 191 RBI in 1930. (2)
- 1962 - A complete overhaul of the classifications in the minor leagues is made. The Eastern and South Atlantic leagues are promoted from Class-A to Class-AA. Meanwhile, classes B, C and D are abolished with those leagues being promoted to Class-A. The Class-B leagues were the Carolina and Northwest leagues; the Class-C leagues were the California, Mexican Center, Northern and Pioneer leagues. The Class-D leagues were the Florida State, Georgia-Florida, Midwest, New York-Pennsylvania and Western Carolinas leagues. The Appalachian League moves from Class-D to Rookie classification. (2)
- 1963 - Major league owners agree to allow the expansion clubs four protected first-year players who can be optioned to the minors without being subject to a draft. (2)
- 1971 - The Chicago Cubs release longtime star and future Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, ending his 19-year major league career. The Cubs also announce that Banks will serve as a coach on manager Leo Durocher’s staff next season. Mr. Cub finishes his playing career with 512 home runs and 1,636 RBI. (1,2)
- 1992 - The Chicago Cubs sign free agent pitcher Juan Guzman to a four-year contract. Guzman is coming off his best major league season, winning 16 games for the Texas Rangers. (2)
- 2002 - Former major league starting pitcher Dave McNally dies from lung cancer at the age of 60. A four-time 20-game winner over the span of four consecutive seasons, McNally helped anchor a Baltimore Orioles pitching staff that featured Hall of Famer Jim Palmer and standout left-hander Mike Cuellar. McNally won Game 4 of the 1966 World Series, cementing Baltimore’s sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also won Game 3 of the 1970 World Series, as the Orioles defeated the Cincinnati Reds in five games. At the end of his career, McNally helped change baseball’s basic financial structure. After playing the 1975 season without a signed contract, McNally, along with pitcher Andy Messersmith was declared a free agent by arbitrator Peter Seitz. The decision paved the way for the advent of the free agent system. (2)
- 2009 - “Old Reliable” Tommy Henrich, who played on seven World Champion New York Yankees teams in the 1930s and 1940s dies in Dayton, OH at age 96. (2)
- 2012 - The Cubs sign veteran Japanese reliever Kyuji Fujikawa to a two-year contract. (2)
Cubs birthdays: Tommy Raub, Ed Reulbach, Charley Moore, Johnny O’Connor, Mike Cvengros, Lefty Sloat, Cal McLish, Tom Filer, Dan Straily, Javier Baez. Also notable: Walter Alston HOF, Larry Walker HOF.
Today in world history:
- 1640 - Portugal regains independence after 60 years of Spanish rule following a revolution by Portuguese nobility; the Portuguese Restoration War begins and lasts until 1668 with recognition by Spain of the country’s independence.
- 1831 - Erie Canal closes for entire month due to cold weather.
- 1887 - Sherlock Holmes first appears in print in “Study in Scarlet” by Arthur Conan Doyle.
- 1913 - Ford Motor Company institutes world’s 1st moving assembly line for the Model T Ford.
- 1936 - Bell Labs tests coaxial cable for TV use.
- 1940 - Four sets of brothers play in one NHL game when Chicago Blackhawks beat NY Rangers, 4-1; Lynn & Muzz Patrick and Neil & Mac Colville (Rangers); Max & Doug Bentley and Bob & Bill Carse (Chicago).
- 1955 - Rosa Parks is arrested for refusing to move to the back of a bus and give her seat to a white passenger in Montgomery, Alabama.
- 1982 - Dentist Barney B Clark gets 1st artificial heart.
- 2019 - Earliest traceable patient, a 55-year-old man, develops symptoms of a novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in Wuhan, China.
- (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.
- For world history.
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