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Baseball history unpacked, February 12

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Scenes from the rich tapestry of the great game.

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... 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:

  • 1878 - After designing the device last season to protect his team’s promising, but skittish, catcher James Tyng, Fredrick Thayer receives a patent for his innovative invention, the catcher’s mask. The Harvard captain, who will never play in a major league game, designed an oblong wireframe modeled after a fencing mask with eye holes that supports a series of strategically-placed pads made from animal skins. (1)
  • 1920 - Dissatisfaction with the National Commission system comes to a head. The National League votes 6-2 for a one-man commission while the American League votes 6-2 for the status quo. Chairman Garry Herrmann resigns, stating his belief that no club owner should serve on the governing board. When the two leagues cannot agree on a chairman, it is left to the league presidents to decide disputes. (2,3)
  • 1942 - The White Sox and Cubs issue a 150-word joint statement that eliminates the possibility of the North Side team from renting Comiskey Park as a venue for National League night games next season. The Chicago rivals agree it is in the best interest of the city to retain the north-south boundary which demarcates the fans’ loyalty to the two Windy City clubs. (1)
  • 1988 - The San Diego Padres trade reliever Rich Gossage to the Chicago Cubs for infielder Keith Moreland in a deal that also includes a pair of minor league players. (3)
  • 1994 - Third baseman Ray Dandridge dies in Palm Bay, Florida, at the age of 80. The former Negro Leagues star batted .322 for his career and gained election to the Hall of Fame in 1987. (3)
  • 2003 - Federal judge James Holderman gives the Chicago Cubs and the owners of rooftop bleachers which provide fans a view of Wrigley Field a year to settle their dispute. The team believes the seating provided above the field on the rooftops directly competes with the club for ticket sales and the surrounding neighbors, in turn, have not been sympathetic to team’s expansion plans. (1,3)
  • 2006 - The Chicago Cubs and pitcher Carlos Zambrano agree to terms on a one-year contract. (3)
  • 2007 - The Major League Baseball Players Association asks the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its 2-1 decision, allowing the names of more than 100 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs to be made available to authorities investigating the use of steroids in baseball. The 1993 urine samples were collected by MLB to gauge the prevalence of steroid use with players and owners agreeing the results would be confidential. (1)
  • 2020 - Major League Baseball officially announces the new rules that will be introduced in the upcoming season. They include a minimum of three batters faced by relief pitchers; the addition of a 26th player to the roster, which also includes a limit of 13 pitchers; and a limit on expanded rosters after September 1st of 28 players and 14 pitchers. There will also be restrictions on the use of position players on the mound, and on the use of the injured list. (3)
  • Cubs birthdays: Bill Mack, Sweetbread Bailey, Virgil Cheeves, Monk Dubiel, Joe Garagiola, Lenny Randle, Gene Krug, Jeff Pico, Josh Phegley. Also notable: Chick Hafey HOF.

Common sources:

*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.