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:
- 1883 - In Louisville a “first-class colored team” is formed. The team, later known as the Falls Cities, becomes one of the nation’s best Black teams. It will join the National Colored Base Ball League (NCBBL) in 1887, but will apparently disband shortly after the collapse of the NCBBL in the first week of its season. (2)
- 1894 - Veteran manager Jack Chapman expresses his support of a proposed rule change forbidding all but catchers and first basemen from wearing gloves. Citing Cincinnati’s Bid McPhee as an example of one of the few remaining outstanding gloveless fielders, Chapman remarks that “as it is now, inferior players with big gloves can get into the game and force good men out.” (2)
- 1896 - The first pitching machine, created by Princeton professor Charles E. Hinton, is demonstrated in the university’s gymnasium. The mathematics instructor’s device resembles a rifle which shoots the ball toward the batter. (2)
- 1905 - Boston continues trading, sending C Pat Moran to the Cubs for C Jack O’Neill and P Big Jeff Pfeffer. (2)
- 1920 - The National League reveals a most telling statistic, pointing out the changes in the game: the use of 27,924 baseballs during the season, an increase of 10,248 over 1919. (2)
- 1933 - The major leagues agree on a uniform ball to be livelier than the National League ball of recent seasons, to match the American League balls. Owners also agree to ban Sunday doubleheaders until after June 15th. (1,2)
- 1969 - The National Labor Relations Board accepts the case of fired umpires Bill Valentine and Al Salerno, thereby issuing a challenge to baseball’s antitrust status. (2)
- 1983 - Commissioner Bowie Kuhn suspends convicted Kansas City Royals Willie Wilson, Willie Aikens, and Jerry Martin, and Dodgers pitcher Steve Howe for one season without pay for their use of illegal drugs. The suspensions will be shortened by an arbitrator and lifted on May 15th. Former Royal Vida Blue, who was released during the season and is currently out of a job, is also suspended. (2)
- 1994 - The owners approve a salary cap plan by a vote of 25-3, but agree to delay implementing it so that another round of talks with the players can be held as the strike remains unresolved. (2)
- 2009 - Commissioner Bud Selig announces that he will chair a 14-person committee to analyze ways to improve baseball’s on-field product. The group will look at issues such as the pace of the game, umpiring, instant replay and possible rule changes. (2)
- 2010 - Hall of Famer Bob Feller, one of the greatest pitchers in baseball history, dies at age 92. “Rapid Robert” made his major league debut at 17 and had the best fastball of his generation. He lost a good part of his prime years while serving with great distinction in the US Navy during World War II and spent his entire career with the Cleveland Indians, for whom he posted six 20-win seasons and pitched three no-hitters. He led the Indians to their last World Championship in 1948. (2)
Today in world history:
- 533 - Byzantine General Belisarius defeats the Vandals, under King Gelimer, at the Battle of Ticameron.
- 1467 - Stephen III of Moldavia defeats Matthias Corvinus of Hungary, with the latter being injured thrice, at the Battle of Baia.
- 1593 - State of Holland grants patent on windmill with a crankshaft.
- 1791 - US Bill of Rights ratified when Virginia gives its approval, becomes amendments 1-10 of the US constitution.
- 1909 - Thomas J. Lynch becomes president of baseball’s National League.
- 1946 - National Football League Championship, Polo Grounds, NYC: Chicago Bears beat New York Giants, 24-14; record attendance 58,346 at final NFL title game played at Polo Grounds.
- 1965 - William Eckert* replaces Ford Frick and becomes the fourth Commissioner of Baseball.
- (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.
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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