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Baseball history unpacked, February 8

Scenes from the rich tapestry of the great game.

Nao Lajoie Game Card 1911 Photo Reproduction by Transcendental Graphics/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:

  • 1901 - Rumors of the Phillies’ star second baseman Napoleon Lajoie jumping to the Athletics, the Philadelphia franchise in new American League, prove to be true. The National League’s leading hitter, clearly in violation of the reserve clause, does switch to the Junior Circuit, where he will win the Triple Crown, leading the league with a .426 batting average, 14 homers, and 125 RBIs. (1,3)
  • 1942 - At California’s Folsom Prison, the annual game between major-leaguers and the prison team is stopped when it is discovered that two prisoners have escaped. With the pros leading 24-5 at the end of seven innings, the game ends and guards go after the two lifers, who are found three hours later. The major leaguers include Ernie Lombardi, Tiny Bonham, Gus Suhr, Joe Marty, and Johnny Babich. (1,3)
  • 1956 - In Philadelphia, former A’s manager and owner Connie Mack, 93, dies of “old age and complications from his hip surgery.” The ‘Tall Tactician’ set records for major league wins (3,731) and losses (3,948), compiling a .486 managerial mark during his 54 years as a skipper, including his three seasons with the Pirates before the turn of the century. (1,3)
  • 1962 - The Federal Trade Commission accuses Topps Chewing Gum of illegally monopolizing the baseball card industry. In 1980, a court decision will open the door to competition. (3)
  • 1972 - 1972 - Josh Gibson and Buck Leonard are elected to the Hall of Fame through the Special Committee on the Negro Leagues. The two former stars, who led the Homestead Grays to nine straight league championships from 1937 to 1945, become the second and third players to be selected by the Committee, joining Satchel Paige, who was elected in 1971. (2,3)
  • 1983 - One day after taking a job as director of sports promotions for the Claridge Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, Mickey Mantle is ordered to sever his ties with Major League Baseball by Commissioner Bowie Kuhn. Mantle joins fellow Hall of Famer Willie Mays as players banned from baseball by Kuhn for involvement with legalized gambling. (2,3)

Cubs birthdays: Steve Dillard, Felix Pie.

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.