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:
- 1897 - At the age of 38, Charles Ebbets, who “has handled every dollar” entering the Brooklyn Dodgers club’s treasury for the past 15 years, gains a controlling 80 percent interest in the team. (2)
- 1949 - 1949 - The 1940s is the only decade in Major League Baseball history in which no new stadiums are built. After the Cleveland Indians opened Cleveland Stadium in 1932, no new ballpark will be opened until Milwaukee County Stadium is unveiled by the Braves in 1953. The decade also will end with eight black players on major league rosters: three each on the Brooklyn Dodgers and Indians rosters, and two with the New York Giants. Although it will be another decade before all major league teams will be integrated, most teams will be playing blacks in the next two years. Finally, all but the St. Louis Browns, Chicago Cubs, and Cincinnati Reds set attendance records in the 1940s. There were 81 scheduled night games in 1940 and 384 in 1949. The change to playing under the lights is underscored by the release of the 1950 schedule: the St. Louis Cardinals have permission to open the season with the Pittsburgh Pirates in a night game. (1,2)
- 1972 - Pittsburgh Pirates superstar Roberto Clemente dies in the crash of a four-engine plane over the Atlantic Ocean. The 38-year-old Clemente was supervising the delivery of relief supplies to the earthquake victims of Managua, Nicaragua. The cargo plane, a DC-7 that departed from San Juan Airport in Puerto Rico, crashes shortly after takeoff. In 18 major league seasons, Clemente batted .317, won the 1966 MVP Award, and led the Pirates to World Championships in 1960 and 1971. Shortly after his death, the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors votes to waive the usual five-year waiting period for Clemente, paving the way for his election to Cooperstown in 1973. (1,2)
- 1979 - The Basic Agreement between players and owners expires, precipitating more than 19 months of bitter negotiations, that will culminate in the 1981 player strike. (1,2)
- 1984 - Despite six weeks of negotiations, the Basic Agreement between the players and owners that was reached after the 1981 strike expires. The players are now seeking increased contributions to their pension plan from the clubs’ additional television revenues, while the owners are hoping to slow the rapid growth of player salaries. (1,2)
- 2009 - The Cubs sign CF Marlon Byrd to a three-year contract worth $15 million. (2)
Today in world history:
- 1564 - Willem van Orange demands freedom of conscience/religion.
- 1744 - English astronomer James Bradley announces discovery of Earth’s nutation motion (wobble).
- 1783 - Import of African slaves banned by all of the Northern US states.
- 1862 - Union ironclad ship “Monitor” sank off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
- 1879 - Edison gives first public demonstration of his incandescent lamp.
- 1904 - First New Year’s Eve celebration held in Times Square, New York City.
- 1945 - Ratification of United Nations Charter completed.
- 1967 - Evel Knievel fails in his attempt to jump the Caesar’s Palace Fountain, Las Vegas, breaking his pelvis, femur, wrist, hip and both ankles.
- 1970 - Paul McCartney files a lawsuit to dissolve The Beatles.
- 1988 - ”The Fog Bowl.” A heavy, dense fog rolls over Soldier Field in Chicago during the second quarter of the Bears vs Eagles NFC Divisional Playoff Game, cuts visibility to 15-20 yards (Bears win 20-12).
- 1995 - Cartoonist Bill Watterson ends his “Calvin & Hobbes” comic strip after 10 years, believing he had achieved all he could in the medium.
- (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.
Also please remember that this is supposed to be fun.
Thank you for your cooperation. And thanks for reading!