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Baseball history unpacked, February 17

Scenes from the rich tapestry of the great game.

RIP Steve Belcher

... 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:

  • 1916 - During their annual meeting held at the Hotel Wolcott in New York, the American League owners endorse a new major league draft concept proposed initially by Dodger president Charles Ebbets. The approved plan will give second-division clubs the first pick of the available minor-leaguers each season. (1)
  • 1924 - Frank Chance, signed as Chicago White Sox manager three months ago, resigns because of illness. Coach Johnny Evers is named acting manager until Chance returns, but the former Cubs star never recovers, and dies on September 24th. (3)
  • 1943 - Joe DiMaggio, drawing $43,500 from the Yankees, trades in his salary for $50 a month as an army enlisted man. DiMaggio, in his customary quiet style, gives no notice to the club. (3)
  • 1964 - Former White Sox SS Luke Appling is elected into the Hall of Fame by a special vote. In 1953, Appling’s first year of eligibility for Cooperstown, the Sox great received just two votes. He holds the single-season highest batting average for his position, hitting .388 in 1936. (2,3)
  • 2003 - After his body temperature soars to 108 degrees, Orioles pitching prospect Steve Bechler dies of multi-organ failure following a spring training workout in Fort Lauderdale. The use of ephedrine, a ‘dietary supplement’ linked to heatstroke and heart attacks, may have led to the 23-year-old expectant father’s death. (1)

Cubs birthdays: Doyle Lade, Mike Campbell, Scott Williamson, Cody Ransom. Also notable: Roger Craig.

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.