... 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.
Today in baseball history:
- 1903 - After the club ceases operations in the Charm City, Frank Farrell and Bill Devery purchase the original American League team in Baltimore, receiving approval from 15 of 16 major league owners to move the team to New York to play as the Highlanders. Giants owner John T. Brush cast the dissenting vote, believing the new club, known as the Yankees starting in 1913, will compete for fans in the Big Apple. (1)
- 1921 - Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis suspends eight members of the Chicago White Sox for their alleged involvement in the fixing of the 1919 World Series. The group includes outfielder Joe Jackson, who batted .375 in the Series. Others banned are Eddie Cicotte, Happy Felsch, Chick Gandil, Fred McMullin, Swede Risberg, Buck Weaver and Lefty Williams. None of them will ever play in organized baseball again. (3)
- 1946 - Negro Leagues pitching star Smokey Joe Williams dies in New York City at the age of 69. According to some sources, Williams won 41 games in 1914. Williams will win election to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1999. (3)
- 1951 - Commissioner Happy Chandler loses his bid to remain in office. Chandler is voted down, 9-7, in a tally of owners. Chandler, who started his term as commissioner in 1945, will be succeeded by Ford Frick. (3)
- 1971 - The Cubs’ durable catcher Randy Hundley suffers a badly sprained knee and will play only nine games, after playing in only 73 the previous year after an April 21, 1970 collision at home plate with the Cardinals’ Carl Taylor. The venerable backstop had averaged roughly 150 games annually for Chicago, (1)
- 1973 - Hall of Fame member Frankie Frisch dies in Wilmington, Delaware, at the age of 74. Frisch batted .316 over a 19-year career. As player-manager for the St. Louis Cardinals, he led the team to the 1934 World Championship. (3)
- 1980 - Slugging outfielder Chuck Klein and former Boston Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey are elected to the Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee. Klein batted .320 over a 17-year career with the Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago Cubs, and Pittsburgh Pirates. Yawkey becomes the first Hall of Fame owner who never served as a player, manager, or general manager during his career. (3)
- 1982 - Ballantine Books publishes the first of seven annual Bill James Abstracts, bringing the author into the national spotlight for his statistical insight into the game. The sabermetrician’s initial self-published efforts, written on the night shift as a security guard at the Stokely-Van Camp’s pork and beans cannery, introduce baseball fans to new ways of measuring a player’s ability, using stats such as such Runs Created. (1)
- 2012 - New Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen is already in mid-season form. He gets ejected in the 6th inning of an otherwise placid Grapefruit League game against the Red Sox for arguing a foul ball call with umpire Tim Timmons. As Ozzie explains afterwards: “I don’t mind getting ejected, man. That’s my job. If I get ejected protecting my players, I can sleep at night. (3)
- 2020 - Major League Baseball announces that it is suspending spring training and delaying Opening Day, scheduled for March 26th, by at least two weeks, in light of the coronavirus pandemic sweeping the globe. This follows in the wake of similar announcements by other professional sports leagues such as the NBA, NHL and Major League Soccer. The 2020 World Baseball Classic Qualifiers, which were scheduled to begin today, are also postponed. (3)
Cubs birthdays: George Moolic, Doc Curley, George Maisel, Bud Tinning, Johnny Callison, Horacio Pina. Also notable: Bill James.
- (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!