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Baseball history unpacked, May 14

Snapshots from the big picture of #Cubs and #MLB history.

... 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:

  • 1883 - The Phillies, known as the Quakers at the time, win their first game in franchise history when they rout the White Stockings, later to be known as the Cubs, at Chicago’s Lake Front Park. Philadelphia had lost its first eight games of the season before today’s 12-0 victory and will finish the season in last place in the eight-team National League with a dismal 17-81 (.173) record. (1,3)
  • 1886 - In American Association action, St. Louis Browns player-manager Charles Comiskey prevents a double play by running full tilt into Red Stockings second baseman Bid McPhee, enabling the Browns to win, 2-1. The Cincinnati fans are infuriated, but the umpire certifies the play. (3)
  • 1920 - Beating the Tigers in relief at Griffith Stadium 9-8, 32 year-old Senator right-hander Walter Johnson registers his 300th victory. Although the ‘Big Train’ hurled for mostly losing teams during his 21-year career, he will compile 417 victories, including winning 20-games or more for ten consecutive seasons (1910-1919). (1,3)
  • 1927 - At the Baker Bowl, with the Phillies leading the Cardinals, 12-3, a section of the right field stand collapses causing hundreds of fans to fall on the patrons below. Although there are many injuries, the only death is caused by the stampeding crowd. (1,3)
  • 1941 - The Dean brothers suffer setbacks in their careers. The Chicago Cubs release Dizzy while the New York Giants demote Paul to the minor leagues. Paul will return to the major leagues two years later with the St. Louis Browns, his last season, but Dizzy won’t return until 1947, when he makes a one-game comeback also with the Browns. (3)
  • 1950 - Pittsburgh Pirates All-Star first baseman Johnny Hopp hits two home runs and four singles in six at-bats, leading the Pirates to a 16 - 9 victory over the Chicago Cubs in the second game of a doubleheader at Wrigley Field. (3)
  • 1978 - In a contest best remembered for Tommy Lasorda’s postgame rant, Dave Kingman hits three home runs, accounting for eight RBIs against the Dodgers in the Cubs’ 10-7 victory at Chavez Ravine. The third-year manager takes exception to radio reporter Paul Olden asking his opinion about the Chicago slugger’s performance, responding with an obscenity-laced tirade that has become legendary. Here’s an article Al wrote about this last December. (1)
  • 1988 - Jose Oquendo became the first non-pitcher in 20 seasons to get a decision, taking the loss in the 19th inning when Ken Griffey’s two-out, two-run double led the Atlanta Braves over the St. Louis Cardinals 7-5. (2)
  • 1989 - Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Benny Distefano becomes the first left-handed catcher in a major league game in nine years when he catches the ninth inning of a 5-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves. Mike Squires (a first baseman) caught two games with the Chicago White Sox in 1980 and another first baseman, Dale Long, caught two games for the Chicago Cubs in 1958. The first left-handed throwing catcher in major league history was Fergy Malone, who caught 27 games in 1871, and Jack Clements holds the record for left-handed catchers with 1,073 games caught between 1884 and 1900. (3)
  • 1989 - In his first at-bat as a Cub, Lloyd McClendon hits a three-run homer in a 4-0 victory over Atlanta at Wrigley Field. The 30-year-old utility player, obtained in an off-season trade from Cincinnati for Rolando Roomes, plays a vital role for the division champs, hitting .286 and 12 home runs in 259 at-bats. (1,3)
  • 2000 - Although Sammy Sosa collects five hits, Henry Rodriguez has seven RBI and Eric Young steals five bases, the Chicago Cubs still manage to lose to Montreal, 16-15. Young’s five stolen bases are the most by a Cubs player since 1881 when George Gore stole seven. (1,3)
  • 2005 - In upstate New York, 11-year-old Katie Brownell, the only girl enrolled in the local Little League, throws a perfect game in front of an astonished crowd of about 100 parents and friends. The shy sixth-grader strikes out every batter she faces, allowing only three foul balls in the six-inning contest at Oakfield Town Park. (1)
  • 2009 - 31-year-old rookie Bobby Scales hits a pair of doubles in Chicago’s 11-3 win over the Padres. Scales has hit safely in all six games he has played in the majors so far, for a batting average of .444. Adrian Gonzalez homers in his fourth consecutive game for San Diego, but to no avail as his team is now on a 3-16 skid. Ryan Dempster picks up the win and former Cub Chad Gaudin, who walks seven batters in four innings, is the loser. Padre starters are winless since April 16th. (3)

Cubs birthdays: Wimpy Quinn, Dick Tidrow, Efren Navarro. Also notable: Ed Walsh HOF, Earle Combs HOF, Tony Perez HOF, Roy Halladay HOF.

Common sources:

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Thanks for reading!