... 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:
- 1962 - In the first meeting between the two New York clubs, the Mets defeated the World Champion Yankees in a spring training game with a dramatic walk-off 4-3 victory at Al Lang Field. Casey Stengel, the former skipper of the Bombers, now the expansion team’s manager, clearly wanting to beat his old club, calls upon veteran Richie Ashburn, who delivers a ninth-inning pinch-hit single for the Amazins’. (1,4)
- 1962 - A former member of the New York Giants requesting anonymity reveals that Bobby Thomson’s home run in the 1951 playoffs against the Brooklyn Dodgers was helped by a sign-stealing clubhouse spy. The spying is claimed to have gone on for the last three months of the season. Thomson, along with former Giants manager Leo Durocher, vehemently denies that he received help, but a source close to the team confirms the spy operation. (2,3)
- 1972 - The American League approves the sale of the Cleveland Indians by Vernon Stouffer. A group headed up by businessman Nick Mileti purchases the team for an estimated $9.7 million. Mileti also owns the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association and the Cleveland Crusaders of the World Hockey Association. Stouffer turned down an earlier offer from local business tycoon George Steinbrenner to buy the team, but when the AL owners reject his proposal to have the Indians play some of their games in the New Orleans Superdome, Stouffer decides to sell the team. (3)
- 1976 - The California Angels’ groundskeeper finds hundreds of marijuana plants growing in the outfield at Anaheim Stadium. The culprits? Most likely rock fans who attended a recent performance at the stadium by The Who. (3)
- 1990 - Major league umpires announce that they will boycott exhibition games to protest not having been consulted in the revision of the regular season schedule after the lockout. They will return to work on April 1st. (2,3)
- 1993 - Cleveland Indians pitchers Steve Olin and Tim Crews are killed, and Bob Ojeda is seriously injured, when the motorboat in which they are riding strikes a pier on Little Lake Nellie near Winter Haven, Florida. Crews and Olin are the first active major leaguers to die since Thurman Munson in 1979. (2,3)
- 2018 - Grapefruit League games are usually pretty laid-back affairs, as the final score is of minor concern to players, managers and fans alike. However, today, umpire Tom Hallion is apparently keen on working out the rust from his ejection gesture, as he gives the thumb no less than five times in a meaningless game between the Tigers and Phillies. Things start in the 5th inning when he tosses Tigers pitcher Matt Boyd for supposedly throwing at Odubel Herrera, then in the 8th he gives the heave-ho to Phillies P Parker Frazier for losing control of a slow curve that ends on Derek Hill’s leg. When manager Gabe Kapler comes out to point out the absurdity of the call, he is sent off as well. Then in the 9th, it’s Pedro Beato who gets his time on the mound shortened for pitching inside to Dylan Rosa, and he’s quickly followed to the clubhouse by bench coach Rob Thomson when he attempts to remind Hallion that this is a spring training game and guys are just trying to throw some pitches against live batters. (3)
- (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!
There is a very active baseball history community and there are many facets to their views. We strive for clarity. Please let us know (nicely) if you feel that an item is in error and we will address that issue to the originator(s), if at all possible.