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Baseball history unpacked, May 12

Snapshots from the big picture of Cubs and MLB history.

Photo by Quinn Harris/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:

  • 1884 - Umpire Van Cort infuriates the visiting Detroit Wolverines when he calls their batter out on a third-strike foul tip in a National League contest played at the South End Grounds. Mike Hines, the Beaneaters’ backstop, clearly did not catch the strike three because the ball becomes wedged in his catcher’s mask. (1)
  • 1910 - Issuing just one walk, which spoils his bid for a perfect game, A’s right-hander Chief Bender, who is part Chippewa, throws a 4-0 no-hitter at Shibe Park against the Cleveland Naps (Indians). The home plate umpire is Bill Dinneen, who tossed a no-hit game against the White Sox playing with the Pilgrims (Red Sox) in 1905, making him the only person in big league history to both throw a no-hitter and call one as an umpire. (1,3,4)
  • 1926 - Walter Johnson of the Washington Senators records his 400th career win when he defeats the St. Louis Browns, 7-4, to reach the rarely-achieved milestone. (2,3)
  • 1941 - After five undistinguished seasons of being called the Bees, the National League club in Boston reverts to its original name. New owners of the Braves had hoped to change the team’s image by renaming the franchise. (1)
  • 1955 - After Sam ‘Toothpick’ Jones walks the bases full in the bottom of the ninth, the Cubs right-hander whiffs Dick Groat, Roberto Clemente, and Frank Thomas to preserve his 4-0 no-hitter against the Pirates. Unfortunately, only 2,918 fans are on hand at Wrigley Field to witness the first no-hitter ever thrown by a black player and the ninth rookie to throw a hitless game. (1)
  • 1956 - Carl Erskine of the Brooklyn Dodgers pitches a 3 - 0 no-hitter against the New York Giants. Erskine strikes out three and walks two. His masterpiece at Ebbets Field is the second no-hitter of his career. His first came in 1952 against the Chicago Cubs. (1,3)
  • 1968 - The Mets play their 1000th game in franchise history, losing to Chicago at Wrigley Field in the first game of a doubleheader, 4-3. The Amazins have compiled a 332-664 record along with four games that ended in a tie during the span, but start their next 1000 games of matchups with a resounding 10-0 rout of the Cubs in the nightcap. (1)
  • 1970 - At Wrigley Field, only 5,264 fans are in attendance to see Ernie Banks hit his 500th career home run, but one who is on hand to witness the historic home run is Frank Secory, one of the umpires of the 1953 contest in which Mr. Cub hit his first round-tripper. The second-inning line drive, hit off Braves’ pitcher Pat Jarvis into the left-field bleachers, bounces back onto the field and is given to the Cubs’ first baseman by Atlanta outfielder Rico Carty, who had at that time gone 30 straight games with a base hit. (1,3)
  • 1989 - Rick Reuschel of the San Francisco Giants records his 200th major league win, beating Montreal, 2-1. (3)
  • 1998 - Mark Grace is the first player to have his home run ball land in the swimming pool, which is located 415 feet from home plate just behind the right-center field fence of the new Bank One Ballpark. The Cubs’ first baseman, who will become a fan favorite in Arizona after signing as a free agent with the club in 2000, will not accomplish the feat again during his three seasons of playing in the desert. (1,3)
  • 2001 - Major League Baseball is ordered by arbitrator Alan Symonette to reinstate nine of the 22 “resigning” umpires let go two years before, and to grant back pay for the time missed. The order also states that veteran umpires Frank Pulli and Terry Tata do not need to retire after the season, as previously planned. (1,3)
  • 2004 - In one of the most remarkable at-bats in major league history, Alex Cora fouls off 14 consecutive pitches and then hits the 18th pitch over the right field fence for a two-run home run off Cubs pitcher Matt Clement. The homer extends Los Angeles’s lead to 4-0. The Dodger Stadium crowd cheers each foul ball as the total starts to be displayed on the scoreboard. (1,3)
  • 2013 - The Cubs and Anthony Rizzo agree to a $41 million, seven-year contract in a deal that could reach $68 million over nine seasons. In January 2012, Chicago acquired the 23 year-old first baseman and right-handed starting pitcher Zach Cates from the Padres in exchange for right-handed starter Andrew Cashner and outfielder Kyung-Min Na. (1)

Cubs Birthdays: Harry Truby, Casey Hageman, Alex McCarthy, Hank Borowy, Norm Gigon, Mark Clark, Blake Lalli. Also notable: Yogi Berra HOF

Common sources:

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