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Baseball history unpacked, February 3

Scenes from the rich tapestry of the great game.

Albert Spaulding Posing in Baseball Uniform Getty Images

... 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:

  • 1886 - Former professional baseball player Albert Spalding begins a sporting goods company with $800. He will become the manufacturer of the first official baseball as well as tennis balls, and equipment for basketball, golf and football. (1,3)
  • 1942 - At a meeting to determine new guidelines necessitated by the US involvement in WWII, the major league owners vote to allow each club to play 14 night games, with the Senators allocated 21 due to a large number of government workers located in Washington, DC Metro area. The regulation includes a provision that no inning will start after 12:50 a.m. during the evening tilts. (1)
  • 1957 - At a New York BBWAA meeting, Walter O’Malley passes a note to Cubs owner Phil Wrigley, who controls the territorial rights to LA, offering Brooklyn’s Texas League team in Fort Worth in return for the Cubs’ Los Angeles PCL minor league franchise. The swap of farm teams will be announced on February 21st, clearing the path for the Dodgers to move to the West Coast. (1)
  • 1975 - Billy Herman, Earl Averill and Bucky Harris are selected for the Hall of Fame by the Special Veterans Committee. Herman was a ten-time All-Star second baseman who batted .304 in 15 seasons and played in four World Series. Averill batted .299 or better in nine of his first ten seasons and finished as a .318 career hitter. Harris managed the Washington Senators to two pennants in his first two seasons as a player-manager and was a career .274 hitter. (1,3)
  • 1977 - The Special Committee on the Negro Leagues elects Martin Dihigo and shortstop Pop Lloyd to the Hall of Fame. Dihigo, a dominant pitcher born in Cuba, also was a infielder and outfielder from 1923 to 1945. Lloyd, a standout shortstop and dangerous hitter, played in the Negro Leagues from 1906 to 1932. (3)
  • 1989 - The National League chooses Bill White to be the circuit’s president, replacing A. Bartlett Giamatti, who is leaving the post to become the commissioner of baseball. The appointment makes the former major league first baseman and Yankee broadcaster the highest-ranking black executive in professional sports. (1,3)
  • 1993 - Marge Schott is suspended for one year and fined $25,000 by a committee of her major-league peers for bringing “disrepute and embarrassment” to the national pastime. The 64-year-old will also be required to attend and complete multi-cultural sensitivity training programs due to the numerous racial and ethnic remarks she allegedly made as the owner of the Reds. (1)
  • 2012 - The Cubs and Matt Garza avoid arbitration when they agree to a one-year, $9.5 million deal. The 28-year-old right-hander posted a 10-10 record along with a 3.32 earned run average last year, his first season with the team.

Cubs birthdays: Newt Randall, Don Kaiser, Joe Coleman. Also notable: Chicken Hawks.

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.