... on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, Bleed Cubbie Blue brings a you a lighthearted, information-rich, Cubs-centric look at baseball’s past. Here’s a handy Cubs timeline, to help you follow along as we review select scenes from the rich tapestry of Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball history*.
Today in baseball history:
- 1884 - Billy Evans is born in Chicago, Illinois. One of the foremost umpires in history, Evans will spend 22 years in the American League. He will achieve great prestige for his fairness and unquestioned integrity. Following his umpiring career, in 1927 he will become the first full-time general manager in Cleveland Indians history. In 1973, the Hall of Fame’s Veterans Committee will select Evans for enshrinement. (3)
- 1910 - Major League owners are now forbidden to own more than one baseball franchise.
- 1910 - Ground is broken in Chicago for a modern concrete-and-steel stadium to replace the obsolete South Side Park. The Pale Hose will play their first game at Comiskey Park, originally known as White Sox Park, on July 1, losing to the Browns in their new home, 2-0. (1)
- 1916 - In a sweet deal, the Chicago Cubs send cash to the sinking Chicago Whales of the Federal League and bring back defectors Three Finger Brown, Clem Clemens, Mickey Doolan, Bill Fischer, Max Flack, Claude Hendrix, Les Mann, Dykes Potter, Joe Tinker, Rollie Zeider and George McConnell. (3)
- 1920 - At a joint meeting in Chicago, IL, it is decided that all bleacher prices will be raised to 50 cents, pavilion seats to 75 cents, and grandstand seating to $1.00. Clubs may set aside bleacher space for kids under 14 at 15 and 25 cents if they wish. In other agreements, the May 15-August 30 player limits are raised from 21 to 25, and the American League prohibits player transfers after July 1st; the National League, after August 20th. (3)
- 1920 - The American and National League Joint Rules Committee outlaw the spitball, shineball, and emeryball. Seventeen pitchers, including Burleigh Grimes, who will be the last player to throw a doctored pitch legally, are allowed to keep throwing the banned pitches until they retire. (1)
See also: Allen Sothoron. Also of note, this extensive history. And this elegiac piece from Fangraphs. (4)
- 1971 - Former player Bill White becomes the first black play-by-play broadcaster in major league history. WPIX-TV hires White to team with Phil Rizzuto and Frank Messer on New York Yankees broadcasts. (3)
- 2018 - The Cubs land one of the biggest remaining free agents of the off-season by signing P Yu Darvish for six years and $126 million. (3)
- 2020 - The ramifications of the 2017 Astros sign-stealing scandal just won’t end. Today, former Dodgers pitcher Mike Bolsinger files a civil suit in Los Angeles Superior Court accusing the Astros of “unfair business practices, negligence and intentional interference with contractual and economic relations.” He points to an appearance on August 4th that season when he was lit up by the Astros, essentially ending his major league career, and asks for the Astros to forfeit the $31 million in bonuses resulting from their World Series win that year and give the money to charitable causes. (3)
Cubs birthdays: Bob Logan, Randy Jackson, Cesar Izturis, Allen Webster. Also notable: Herb Pennock HOF,
- (1) — The National Pastime.
- (2) — Today in Baseball History.
- (3) — Baseball Reference.
- (4) — Society for American Baseball Research.
- (5) — Baseball Hall of Fame.
- (6) — This Day in Chicago Cubs history.
*We vet each item as much as time allows. Please let us know if an item is in error, especially if you have a source. Thanks for reading.