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Baseball history unpacked, May 10

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Snapshots from the big picture of Cubs and MLB history.

Happy birthday, Pierce Johnson
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/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:

  • 1880 - In Albany’s Riverside Park, Lip Pike hits a ball over the wall and into the river. RF Lon Knight begins to go after the ball in a boat but gives up. Few parks have ground rules about giving the batter an automatic home run on a hit over the fence. (3)
  • 1888 - The Philadelphia Athletics play their first official Sunday home game at Gloucester, NJ, or so they think. The American Association league secretary will later rule the game illegally rescheduled and throw it out of the official records. (2)
  • 1907 - National League president Harry Pulliam dismisses the Opening Day protests of Pittsburgh manager Fred Clarke over Roger Bresnahan’s shin guards. At the time, Bresnahan was the only catcher using them. (3)
  • 1908 - Pitching for Kansas City of the American Association, Smokey Joe Wood hurls a 1-0 no-hitter against Milwaukee. (3)
  • 1909 - Church bells ring when Fred Toney completes the longest no-hitter in organized baseball history, a 1-0 victory over the Lexington Colts of the Blue Grass League. As word spread around town about the Class D Winchester Hustlers right-hander’s performance on the mound, fans continued to stream into the ballpark before the lone run of the contest scored on a squeeze play in the bottom of the 17th. (1,4)
  • 1917 - The Phillies use nine hits - one by each starter - to beat the Cubs, 4-3, and drop the Cubs from first to third. The Phils move into second place behind the Giants. Eppa Rixey is the winner for the Quakers. (3)
  • 1939 - Phillies’ backstop Dave Coble catches a ball thrown from the top of Philadelphia’s City Hall. The rookie catcher handles the 521-foot dropped ball cleanly but likens the experience to a man jumping into his arms. (1)
  • 1955 - Dodger right-hander Don Newcombe faces only 27 batters when he one-hits Chicago at Wrigley Field, 3-0. Gene Baker, who ruins Newcome’s bid for perfection with a fourth-inning single, is thrown out trying to steal second base. (1,4)
  • 1967 - Braves’ outfielder Hank Aaron hits an inside-the-park homer off future Hall of Fame right-hander Jim Bunning in the team’s 4-3 loss to the Phillies at Connie Mack Stadium. The eighth-inning round-tripper will be Aaron’s only homer that doesn’t clear the fence out of his record-setting 755 round-trippers. (1.4,5)
  • 1968 - The Cubs climb above the .500 mark the first time all season with a 6-5 win over the Phillies. Chicago’s Billy Williams sets a new record for outfielders by playing his 695th straight game. (3)
  • 1970 - Hoyt Wilhelm becomes the first major league pitcher to appear in 1,000 games. The 47-year-old Braves’ knuckleballer will end his 21-year career in 1972 with 1,070 appearances. (1,4)
  • 1981 - Expos’ hurler Charlie Lea no-hits the Giants, 4-0, becoming the first French-born pitcher to accomplish the feat. It is the first no-hitter at Olympic Stadium, which opened for baseball in 1977. The 24-year-old right-hander was born in Orleans, France. (1,4)
  • 1996 - The Phils’ Terry Mulholland defeats the Padres, 5-4. Mulholland, who entered the game with the third-lowest batting average in history of any player with 400 at bats, clouts a 407-foot home run in the second inning off Sean Bergman. As Mulholland explains, “Most great power hitters don’t hit for a high average.” (3)
  • 2013 - In front of their home crowds, Cardinal rookie Shelby Miller and Red Sox southpaw Jon Lester each throw a one-hitter against the Rockies and Blue Jays, respectively. Each hurler faces only 28 batters, allowing no walks or hit batsmen in their errorless complete-game shutout performances. (1,3)
  • 2014 - What does the Cubs’ Jeff Samardzija have to do to get a win? Today, the major leagues’ ERA leader pitches 7 scoreless innings, but Hector Rondon blows a 2-0 ninth-inning lead against the Yankees to send the game into extra innings. In the 13th, Yankees pitcher Preston Claiborne lays down a perfect sacrifice bunt in his first major league plate appearance as part of a two-run rally, Jose Veras throws a wild pitch to let in a first run and back-up catcher John Ryan Murphy drives in another with a single as the Bronx Bombers end up on top, 4-2. Samardzija is 0-4 in spite of a 1.46 ERA. (3)

Cubs birthdays: Charlie Ferguson, Bill Davidson, Freddie Maguire, Russ Bauers, Jim Hickman, Merritt Ranew, Tim Hosley, Pierce Johnson.

Common sources:

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!