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Baseball history unpacked, April 26

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

Phil Velasquez/ Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via 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.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1902 - In his major league debut, Bronchos hurler, future Hall-of-Famer Addie Joss tosses a one-hitter, beating the hometown Browns, 3-0, at Sportsman’s Park. The lone hit is a scratch single by Jesse Burkett. The 22-year-old right-hander will post a 17-13 record along with a 2.77 ERA in his rookie season with Cleveland. (1,3)
  • 1905 - Jack McCarthy becomes the first (or second—accounts differ, though I can find no record of anyone earlier. Orator Shafer of the White Stockings has been rumored to have done so—he holds the record for assists in one year, 50 in 1879) major league outfielder to throw out three runners trying to score in one game. All of the 36-year-old flychaser’s assists result in double plays, helping the Cubs to beat the Pirates at Exposition Park, 2-1. (1)
  • 1941 - Wrigley Field becomes the first ballpark to employ an organ to entertain fans when Roy Nelson provides the fans with a pregame serenade of classic and soulful tunes before Chicago drops a 6-2 decision to Max Lanier and the Cardinals. The organ, removed after the Cubs’ homestand, will not return permanently to the ‘Friendly Confines’ until 1967. (1)
  • 1969 - The Baseball Records Committee decides to give Babe Ruth credit for one more home run during his career for a total of 715. The committee rules that one of Ruth’s home runs had been incorrectly ruled a triple. The committee will later reverse its decision, returning Ruth to a total of 714 home runs. (3)
  • 1997 - In the Cubs’ 7-6 win over the Pirates at Wrigley Field, Ryne Sandberg of the Chicago Cubs breaks the major league record for most home runs by a second baseman. His 267th career home run surpasses the old mark set by Joe Morgan from 1965 to 1984. Sandberg hit the first five home runs of his career as a third baseman before moving over to second. The mark will remain until 2004, when Jeff Kent of the Astros records his 268th dinger as a second sacker. (1,3)
  • 2002 - Odalis Perez is perfect for six innings as the Dodgers beat the Cubs, 10-0, at Wrigley Field, but he winds up with a one-hitter after speedy Corey Patterson beats out a bad-hop infield single leading off the 7th. Perez faces the minimum 27 batters in his first career shutout as Chris Stynes, the next hitter, grounds into a double play. (1,3)
  • 2009 - Birthday boy Kosuke Fukudome of the Cubs homers and drives in five runs in Chicago’s 10-3 win over St. Louis. The Japanese right fielder, who lost his starting job late in 2008 because of a prolonged hitting slump, is now batting .371 on the year. (3)
  • 2016 - Chicago is on top of the baseball world today as the White Sox are the first major league team to 15 wins this year when they beat the Blue Jays, 10-1, behind Chris Sale’s fifth win in as many starts. They are then joined by the Cubs who improve to 15-5 with a 4-3 win over the Brewers. For the Cubs, it’s their best start since 1907, when they had begun the season by going 16-4 on their way to a World Series win. (3)
  • 2017 - Gift Ngoepe becomes the first major leaguer from Africa. Entering in a double switch in a 6-5 Pirates win over the Cubs, the South Africa native singles and walks off Jon Lester in his first two plate appearances and helps turn the game-ending double play. He is the second player to debut this week for the Pirates as the first player from his country, following Lithuania’s Dovydas Neverauskas by two days. (3)

Cubs birthdays: Fritz Clausen, Irv Higginbotham, Hack Wilson HOF, Ron Northey, Bob Zick, Curt Wilkerson, Kosuke Fukudome.

Common sources:

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