... on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, Bleed Cubbie Blue brings a you a Cubs-centric look at baseball’s long and colorful past. Here’s a handy Cubs timeline, to help you follow along as we review select clips from the big motion picture of Chicago Cubs and Major League Baseball history.
Today in baseball history:
- 1930 - During the nightcap of a twin bill, Joe Sewell strikes out twice against White Sox southpaw Pat Caraway in Cleveland’s 5-2 victory over Chicago. The Indians’ infielder will be fanned a total of only three times in his 353 at-bats this season. (1,3)
- 1947 - The largest crowd ever to attend a single game in baseball history occurs when 74,747 fans, watch the Yankees beat Boston, 9-3, in a Monday evening tilt at the Bronx ballpark. The previous mark was set in 1932 at Cleveland’s spacious Municipal Stadium with a Sunday afternoon game attracting 73,592 patrons to witness Philadelphia’s 1-0 victory over the hometown Indians, a contest that takes only an hour and fifty minutes to complete. (1)
- 1956 - Al Simmons dies in Milwaukee at the age of 54. A former Philadelphia Athletics All-Star outfielder, Simmons hit .334 with 307 home runs and 1,827 RBI in a 20-season major league career that included stints with six other teams besides the A’s. Simmons gained induction into the Hall of Fame in 1953. (3)
- 1957 - Cubs rookie Dick Drott establishes a franchise record when he strikes out 15 batters en route to a complete-game victory over Milwaukee at Wrigley Field. The 20 year-old right-hander’s mark, accomplished in his seventh major league start, will be matched by Burt Hooton (1971) and Rick Sutcliffe (1984) and will remain the standard for a Cubs nine-inning game until Kerry Wood’s 20-K performance in 1998. (1,3,4)
- 1959 - In another of Bill Veeck’s stunts, 3’ 7” Eddie Gaedel returns to a major league field along with three other midgets. Arriving by helicopter and dressed as Martians, the quartet drops onto the Comiskey Park infield and shakes hands with second baseman Nellie Fox and shortstop Luis Aparicio, giving them toy ray guns as the public announcer informs the 40,000 plus in attendance that the “extraterrestrials” have arrived to help the somewhat short keystone double play combo in their struggle with giant earthlings. (1,3)
- 1959 - Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches one of the most remarkable games in major league history. Haddix tosses 12 perfect innings, retiring the first 36 Milwaukee Braves batters he faces, before losing the perfect game in the 13th inning when Felix Mantilla reaches first base on an error. After a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk to Hank Aaron, Haddix surrenders an apparent three-run home run to Joe Adcock. Aaron leaves the field, and Adcock passes him on the basepaths. Adcock’s blast is called a double as Mantilla scores the winning run. Lew Burdette of the Braves goes all the way for a 12-hit, 1 - 0 shutout. (1,3)
- 1964 - In front of a meager crowd of 2,503 fans at Wrigley Field, the visiting Mets set a franchise record for runs scored when the team pummels the Cubs, 19-1. New York’s 25-year-old first baseman Dick Smith, batting leadoff, becomes the first player in franchise history to get five hits in a game, nearly 20 percent of his season total of 21 when he collects a double, a triple, and three singles. (1)
- 1993 - Carlos Martinez of the Cleveland Indians hits a fly ball that caroms off the head of Texas Rangers outfielder Jose Canseco and bounces into the stands for a home run. The unusual home run helps the Indians defeat the Rangers, 7-6. (3)
- 1997 - For the first time in twenty years, two inside-the-park homers are hit in the same inning when Sammy Sosa of the Cubs and the Pirates infielder Tony Womack both circle the bases for round-trippers five minutes apart in the sixth frame of the Cubs’ 2-1 victory at Three Rivers Stadium. Ranger teammates Bump Wills and Toby Harrah hit back-to-back inside-the-park home runs on consecutive pitches at Yankee Stadium in 1977. (1)
- 2005 - Chico Carrasquel dies in Caracas, Venezuela, at the age of 77. Carrasquel, the first in a great line of Venezuelan shortstops that includes Luis Aparicio, Dave Concepción, Ozzie Guillen and Omar Vizquel, became the first Hispanic player to appear in an All-Star Game, in 1951, at Briggs Stadium. (3)
- 2012 - The Cubs lose their 11th straight, 3-2 to the Pirates, their longest losing streak since opening the 1997 season with 14 consecutive losses. The teams are tied at 2-all in the bottom of the ninth when Jose Tabata leads off with a single off Rafael Dolis, who then issues a pair of walks around two outs to load the bases; Matt Hague takes a pitch in the ribs to end the game on a walk-off hit-by-pitch. (3)
- 2017 - Hall of Famer Jim Bunning, who won over 100 games in both leagues, pitched a perfect game, and later served in Congress as both a Representative and Senator from Kentucky, passes away at the age of 85. (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.
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