... on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, Bleed Cubbie Blue brings a you a Cubs-centric look at baseball’s past. Here’s a handy Cubs timeline, to help you follow along as we review select snapshots from the big picture of Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball history. We vet each item as much as time allows. This, after all, is not rocket surgery. Baseball is a game that rewards the light of heart.
Today in baseball history:
- 1857 - The National Association of Base Ball Players is formed at a meeting in New York City. Twenty-two teams are represented, and William Van Cott of the Gothams is elected president. (3)
- 1904 - New York Giants players leave Mobile, AL ahead of the law after a local judge issues a warrant for their arrest for beating a local umpire unconscious during an exhibition game. The players were goaded by manager John McGraw. (3)
- 1941 - The Dodgers announce their players will begin to wear helmets when batting. The use of the safety headgear will not become mandatory in the National League until 1954, and the AL will follow suit four years later. (1,3)
- 1951 - J. Edgar Hoover, longtime director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, declines the post of baseball commissioner. California Governor Earl Warren had earlier turned down the post. (1,2)
- 1959 - Dorothy Comiskey Rigney, granddaughter of the ‘Old Roman’, Charles Comiskey, sells her 54 percent ownership in the White Sox to Bill Veeck’s syndicate for $2.7 million. Brother Chuck fails in his attempt to match or improve the bid. Comiskey control of the franchise ends after 60 years. (2,4)
- 1962 - Because it does not allow black guests, the Phillies leave Jack Tar Harrison Hotel and move to Rocky Point Motel, 20 miles outside Clearwater, Florida. (Dallas Green was the player rep at the time.) (2)
When the team’s general manager John Quinn was informed that his players of color wouldn’t be allowed to stay at the Jack Tar Harrison Hotel, he decided to uproot the team from the Clearwater, Florida, hotel and take them somewhere that would accommodate and give equal service to the Phillies’ black and Latino players. — Rhiannon Walker.
- 1982 - Shortstop Travis Jackson and Commissioner Happy Chandler are elected to the Hall of Fame by the Special Veterans Committee. Jackson hit .291 in 15 seasons as the New York Giants shortstop in the 1920s and 1930s, while Chandler was baseball’s second commissioner. He oversaw and encouraged the dismantling of the color barrier in 1947. (2,3)
- 1983 - The Special Veterans Committee announces the election of Walter Alston and George Kell to the Hall of Fame. Alston managed the Dodgers in Brooklyn and Los Angeles to four World Series championships, while always working under one-year contracts. Kell, a standout third baseman primarily for the Detroit Tigers, batted over .300 nine times, was a 10-time All-Star, and topped American League third basemen in fielding percentage seven times during a 15-season career. (2,3)
- 1986 - Ernie Lombardi, the N.L. MVP in 1938, and Bobby Doerr, a nine-time A.L. All-Star, are elected to the Hall of Fame by the Special Veterans Committee. (2)
- 1993 - Sherry Davis becomes the first full-time female major league public address announcer when she is hired by the Giants to work at Candlestick Park. The legal secretary, chosen from five hundred contestants, won the job in an open audition. (1)
- 1995 - Former Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan, citing labor unrest as the reason, announces that he is leaving the White Sox organization to return to the Chicago Bulls. In his only season in professional baseball, the future NBA Hall-of-Famer batted .202, with three home runs, 51 RBI, 30 steals and 11 errors playing the outfield for the Double-A Birmingham Barons. (1)
- 2004 - When asked by Senator John McCain to renegotiate the Major League Baseball contract in regard to the use of controlled substances, Major League Players Association head Donald Fehr refuses to comply. Although the union boss condemns the use of steroids, he believes the players oppose random drug testing as a violation of privacy, an argument countered by the Arizona Republican as unacceptable; McCain promises congressional action if the status quo is maintained. (1,3)
- 2015- In a Cactus League game, three of the Cubs bright young prospects give fans what they hope is a glimpse of the future when they connect for back-to-to-back-to-back homers in the fourth inning against the Indians. OF Jorge Soler starts things off with a monster shot to left field off Trevor Bauer, and two pitches later, 2B Javier Baez drives the ball to the same spot. The next man up, 3B Kris Bryant, completes the trifecta with a huge blast to the opposite field. Of the trio, Baez has the most big league experience with half a season under his belt. (3)
Cubs birthdays: Dad Lytle, Gene DeMontreville, Bill Heath, Joe Campbell, Darcy Fast, Donnie Murphy.
- (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.
Thanks for reading!