... 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:
- 1885 - A lower court in New York, NY decides that playing baseball on Sunday is a crime. This decision will be overturned, but an appeal will be made to a higher authority. (1)
- 1925 - Chicago Cubs shortstop Rabbit Maranville breaks his leg sliding into third base in an exhibition game in Los Angeles, CA. As he is 33 years old, the injury threatens to end his career, but Maranville will be back in the lineup by May 24th. (3)
- 1944 - In Maryland, the Washington Senators start spring training with six knuckleballers likely to make the staff: Alex Carrasquel, Mickey Haefner, Dutch Leonard, Bill Lefebvre, Johnny Niggeling and Roger Wolff. Solid catcher Rick Ferrell will have to corral the flutterballs. Finally, Haefner, Leonard, Niggeling and Wolff will join Early Wynn in the starting rotation. The rest go to the bullpen. (3)
- 1945 - With wartime travel restrictions still in effect, the Dodgers open spring training at Bear Mountain, New York with 15 players in camp. Seven teams — the Browns, Tigers, Reds, Indians, Cubs, Pirates, and White Sox, are training in Indiana, the most of any state. The Red Sox are at Tufts College while the Braves are prepping at the Choate School in Connecticut. (3)
- 1971 - Bernice Gera files a civil rights suit against MLB when her contract to umpire in the New York-Penn League becomes void after six days, without an explanation. In an eventual landmark 5-2 decision, the New York Court of Appeals will uphold a previous court’s ruling, agreeing with her contention that she had been unlawfully discriminated against. Mrs. Gera will eventually umpire one game before quitting. (1,3)
- 1999 - The Yankees name Don Zimmer as the club’s interim manager while Joe Torre receives prostate cancer treatments. The team’s bench coach compiled an 885-858 (.508) record during his managerial stints with San Diego, Boston, Texas, and Chicago. (1)
- 2000 - In spring training action, Boston Red Sox star Pedro Martinez and five relievers combine on a perfect game beating the Toronto Blue Jays, 5 - 0. (3)
- 2010 - The Major League Baseball Players Association circulates an expanded list of “dangerous contaminated supplements”, which now contains 104 products. These nutritional supplements are legal but potentially contaminated, and could cause false positives under Major League Baseball’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. (3)
- 2011 - Commissioner Bud Selig forms a twelve-person committee to study the origins of baseball, with newly-appointed official historian John Thorn as its chair. The issue has been rekindled with the publication this week of Thorn’s book, Baseball in the Garden of Eden, which casts doubt on the role of Alexander Cartwright in laying down the fundamental principles of the game. Ironically, Cartwright was promoted as the “real” founder of the game to counteract the unfounded legend that Abner Doubleday had laid down the first baseball diamond in Cooperstown, NY in 1839. Thorn argues that the game is in fact much older than once thought, with traces found in 18th century records. (3)
Bobby Bonds: 14 years, 3 ASG, 5 MVP noms, 3 GG, 57.9 WAR. Make his case for the Hall of Fame.
Harold Baines: 22 years, 6 ASG, 4 MVP noms, 38.7 WAR. Why is he in and not Bonds? Make your case.
- (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!
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