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Baseball history unpacked, March 31

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Snapshots from the big picture of Chicago Cubs and MLB baseball.

Chicago Cityscapes And City Views Photo By Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

... 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.

Tomorrow’s Opening Day! It’s been awhile...

Today in baseball history:

  • 1961 - The Pacific Coast League proposal to use a designated hitter is voted down 8-1 by the Professional Baseball Rules Committee. Prompted by the Cubs’ college of coaches, the committee also rules each team must name a manager 30 minutes prior to the game. The DH will not come into major league use until 1973, when it is adopted by the American League. (1,3)
  • 1968 - The American League’s new franchise in Seattle chooses the “Pilots” as its nickname. The team will last only one season in Seattle before becoming the Milwaukee Brewers. The name originated from the coastal seaport city’s association with the airplane industry and co-owner Dewey Soriano’s part-time job as a harbor pilot. (1,3)
  • 1993 - Bill White, the first black man to serve as a league president, resigns from his National League post. He will remain at the job until March of 1994. (3)
  • 1994 - The New York Mets trade hard-luck righthander Anthony Young to the Chicago Cubs for shortstop Jose Vizcaino. While with New York, Young dropped 27 consecutive decisions, 14 as a starter and 13 as a reliever, establishing the major league record for the most consecutive losses by a pitcher. (1,3)
  • 1995 - The longest strike action in sports history ends — in a courtroom. A U.S. District court order forbids owners from implementing new financial working conditions in the wake of the impasse in negotiations. The court decides that conditions will revert to the old rules from the previous season. Because of the timing of the court order, 18 games will have to be trimmed from the major league schedule. (3)
  • 2008 - Outside of Wrigley Field, the Cubs unveil the seven-foot bronze sculpture of Ernie Banks by 46-year-old Lou Cella, a passionate fan who idolized ‘Mr. Cub’ as a kid. The typographical error on the statue’s granite base, “Lets play two,” is quickly corrected when the sculptor comes down to the ballpark two days later and carves the needed apostrophe. (1,4)
  • 2014 - With the majority of teams opening their season today, expanded instant replay is used for the first time in a major league game. Manager Rick Renteria of the Cubs is the first to challenge an umpire’s decision on calling Jeff Samardzija out on a close play at first base, but the replay confirms the call. (3)

Cubs birthdays: Big Jeff Pfeffer, John Herrnstein, Gonzalo Marquez.

Common sources:

Thanks for reading!

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