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Baseball history unpacked, December 17

A thrice-weekly look at #Cubs and #MLB history. How about that?

Chicago Cubs Photo Day

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:

At a joint meeting, a rule is changed that ends the practice of minor league teams selling star prospects to friendly Major League clubs for high prices, then getting the players back, forcing another ML club to pay the reputed price for the player. Other changes ban the signing of players under the age of 17 and set a $7,500 price tag on any first-year player.

  • 1964 - The Yankees fire long-time television and radio voice Mel Allen. The well-known broadcaster popularized the “going, going, gone” home run call and often said “how about that” to describe happenings on the ball field.
  • 2002 - The Cubs sign free agent OF Troy O’Leary to a one-year contract for $750,000. (2)

Cubs birthdays: Bill Hutchison, Marvell Wynne, David Kelton*, Juan Mateo.

Today in world history:

  • 1398 - Tamerlane captures and sacks Delhi, defeating Sultan Nasir-u Din Mehmud’s armies by setting camels loaded with hay alight and charging them at the Sultan’s armored elephants.
  • 1777 - France recognizes independence of British colonies in America.
  • 1790 - Aztec calendar stone discovered in Mexico City.
  • 1903 - The Wright brothers make the first sustained motorized aircraft flight at 10:35 a.m., piloted by Orville Wright at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
  • 1933 - National Football League Championship - first title game, Wrigley Field, Chicago: Chicago Bears beat New York Giants, 23-21; “Bronko Nagurski Rule” - forward pass is legal anywhere behind line of scrimmage.

Common sources:

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.

Also please remember that this is supposed to be fun.

Thank you for your cooperation. And thanks for reading