... 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:
- 1912 - In the first game ever played at Fenway Park, the Boston Red Sox defeat Harvard University in an exhibition game played in a snow storm. (3)
- 1947 - Commissioner Happy Chandler suspends Brooklyn Dodgers manager Leo Durocher for “conduct deemed detrimental to baseball.” (an assortment of actions deemed detrimental to baseball, including association with known gamblers). The one-year ban will force Leo to miss the major league debut of Jackie Robinson. The Brooklyn and New York clubs are both fined $2,000, and by order of the commissioner, the teams are not allowed to discuss the matter. (1,3)
- 1959 - Dr. Creighton Hale recommends Little League pitching mounds be moved back from home plate by 24 inches. The organization’s vice president believes a ball thrown by a youngster at 70 mph from 46 feet would give the batter about the same amount of time to swing at a pitch, proportionately, as the major leaguers have. (1)
- 1964 - Much to the chagrin of team executive Branch Rickey, the Cardinals trade Jimmie Coker and Gary Kolb to the Braves for catcher Bob Uecker. After introducing himself, the Redbirds’ new backstop is quickly informed by Rickey, “I didn’t want you. I wouldn’t trade one Gary Kolb for a hundred Bob Ueckers.” (1,3,4)
- 1966 - After sharing space at Wrigley Field in 1961 and Dodger Stadium from 1962-65 during their first five seasons in Los Angeles, the Angels move to nearby Anaheim into their own stadium. The ‘Halos’, now known as the California Angels, host the San Francisco Giants in a preseason exhibition game in the first contest ever played at Anaheim Stadium. (1)
- 1969 - Billy Williams hits four consecutive doubles, helping the Cubs beat Philadelphia at Wrigley Field, 11-3. The Chicago outfielder’s quartet of two-baggers ties the major-league record for doubles, shared by 29 players, and last accomplished by in 1963 by Detroit center fielder Billy Bruton. (1)
- 1974 - San Diego Padres owner Ray Kroc criticizes his club over the public address system during a game! “Ladies and gentlemen, I suffer with you,” Kroc says. “I’ve never seen such stupid baseball playing in my life.” The announcement occurs during San Diego’s 9-5 loss to the Houston Astros. Coincidentally, the San Diego Chicken team mascot makes its debut that day. Hearing of the incident, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn will make Kroc apologize to the fans. (3)
- 1982 - Former Chicago White Sox pitcher Francisco Barrios dies of heart attack in his native Mexico at the age of 28. Barrios was 14-7 for Chicago in 1977, despite recurring shoulder trouble. (3)
- 1995 - Bob Allison dies in Rio Verde, Arizona, at the age of 60. A three-time All-Star, Allison won the 1959 American League Rookie of the Year Award. He reached the 100-RBI mark in 1961 and 1962, hitting 256 home runs over a 13-season career for the Washington Senators and Minnesota Twins. (3)
- 2001 - Hall of Famer Willie Stargell dies in Wilmington, North Carolina, at the age of 61. Stargell, who had been in failing health because of kidney problems, played key roles on the Pittsburgh Pirates World Champion teams in 1971 and 1979. Stargell hit 48 home runs in 1971 and shared the National League MVP Award with Keith Hernandez in 1979. Nicknamed “Pops” for his leadership skills, Stargell was named Pirates captain in 1974. (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.
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.
Thanks for reading!