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Baseball history unpacked, April 23

Snapshots from the big picture of Cubs and MLB history, approaching our 500th appearance.

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... 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 - Behind the pitching of Harry Howell, the New York Highlanders win their first major league game, 7-2, over the Washington Senators. (3)
  • 1919 - Senators right-hander Walter Johnson records his fifth Opening Day shutout, beating the A’s at Griffith Stadium, 1-0. Philadelphia starter Scott Perry matches zeroes with the ‘Big Train’ for a dozen frames until pinch-runner Mike Menosky scores the decisive run for Washington with one out in the bottom of the 13th inning. (1)
  • 1919 - Anticipating a poor season at the gate, the major leagues open a reduced 140-game season. Despite the lack of close races, attendance remains high all year and every club will show a profit. (3)
  • 1924 - On WMAQ, Hal Totten, a Chicago Daily News play-by-play reporter, does a play-by-play radio report of the 12-1 Cubs victory over the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. It will be the first broadcast of every Cubs home game and the first time a team’s games have been on the airwaves on a regular basis. (1,3)
  • 1946 - Ed Head of the Brooklyn Dodgers pitches a 5-0 no-hitter against the Boston Braves at Ebbets Field. It is Head’s first appearance since his return from the military. (2,3)
  • 1952 - Both starters at Sportsman’s Park toss a one-hitter, but Browns’ southpaw Bob Cain gets the victory when he beats Bob Feller and Cleveland, 1-0. The lone run of the contest scores in the bottom of the first frame when third baseman Al Rosen’s error allows Bobby Young, who tripled to lead off the inning, to cross the plate. (1)
  • 1952 - Future Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm of the New York Giants wins his first major league game. He pitches five innings in relief in a 9-5 win and homers in his first at bat against the Braves’ Dick Hoover. It is Wilhelm’s only major league home run in 1,070 games. (2)
  • 1954 - At Busch Stadium, Hank Aaron hits the first of his 755 career home runs in his seventh major league game. The Milwaukee outfielder’s sixth-inning solo round-tripper come on a pitch thrown by Cardinal right-hander Vic Raschi in the Braves’ 7-6 extra-inning victory in St. Louis. (1,3)
  • 1966 - Two days after putting on a Chicago Cubs uniform, Ferguson Jenkins hits his first major league home run, off Don Sutton, drives in a second run, and shuts out the Dodgers to win, 2-0. For rookie Sutton, it is the first of 13 straight losses the Cubs will hand him. (3)
  • 1968 - The Chicago Cubs acquire outfielder Jim Hickman and relief pitcher Phil Regan from the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for outfielder Ted Savage and starting pitcher Jim Ellis. Regan will lead the National League with 25 saves this season. (3)
  • 1990 - Steve Lyons of the Chicago White Sox plays all nine positions during an exhibition game against the Chicago Cubs. (3)
  • 1999 - Fernando Tatis of the St. Louis Cardinals becomes the first player in major league history to hit two grand slams in one inning. Tatis connects both times in the 11-run third inning against pitcher Chan Ho Park to lead the Cardinals to a 12-5 rout of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He simultaneously sets a record with eight RBI in one inning. Park becomes the first pitcher in the 20th century, and only the second ever, to surrender two slams in a single frame, joining Bill Phillips of the 1890 Pittsburgh Alleghenys. (3)
  • 2005 - Earl Wilson, a former pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers, dies in Southfield, Michigan, at age of 70. In 1962, Wilson became the first black pitcher in major league history to throw a no-hitter. (3)
  • 2008 - The Chicago Cubs become the second franchise in major league history to reach 10,000 wins. They top the Rockies, 7-6, in a 10-inning affair to join the Giants with 10,000. They trail, 5-4, entering the ninth but Derrek Lee connects safely against Rockies closer Manuel Corpas and Aramis Ramirez homers to make it 6-5. Chicago closer Kerry Wood fails to hang on to the win; he retires two batters but Scott Podsednik singles and Ryan Spilborghs triples to tie it. In the 10th, Kip Wells allows a single to Geovany Soto; Ryan Theriot later drives in the run with a single for a 7-6 edge. This time, it holds up, as Carlos Marmol notches the save; Wood is credited with the win and Wells suffers the loss. (3)
  • 2014 - Michael Pineda, due to his effort to get a better grip on the baseball on a chilly spring night at Fenway Park, will be ejected in the second inning for using pine tar, after trying to conceal the foreign substance on his neck. The Yankees right-hander will get a ten-day suspension for using the sticky material, which is usually overlooked by opponents when discreetly used since it does not affect the flight of the ball. (1)
  • 2014 - Wrigley Field celebrates its 100th birthday with a party that includes birthday cakes, the presence of many former Chicago Cubs greats such as Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Billy Williams, Fergie Jenkins and Andre Dawson, and everyone dressing up in the style of 1914 when the park was known as “Weeghman Park” and was home to the Chicago Chi-Feds of the long-defunct Federal League. Alumni of the NFL’s Chicago Bears, who played here from 1921 to 1970, also take the field before the game. The Cubs don the uniforms of the Feds, while the visiting Diamondbacks impersonate the Kansas City Packers. The visitors come out on top, 7-5, as they score five runs against Pedro Strop in the top of the 9th to spoil the party. (3)

Cubs birthdays: Joe Kelly, Dolph Camilli, Carlos Silva, Emilio Bonifacio. Also notable: Jim Bottomley HOF, Warren Spahn HOF.

Common sources:

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