... 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:
- 1884 - Due to inflammation in his right index finger, Larry Corcoran of the White Stockings (Cubs) pitches both left-handed and right-handed in a game against the Bisons. The natural right-hander hurls ambidextrously for four innings, alternating throwing arms, before moving to shortstop in Chicago’s 20-9 loss at Buffalo’s Olympic Park. (1,3,4)
- 1887 - A huge brawl breaks out in the ninth inning of a game between the Browns and Orioles in Baltimore, MD when Curt Welch bowls over Orioles 2B Bill Greenwood in the 9th inning with the score tied, 8-8. Thousands of spectators run on to the field, clamoring for Welch’s arrest - or worse. Police have to intervene, and the game is called. Welch is whisked away to safety while Browns pitcher Dave Foutz, a Baltimore native, speaks to the crowd to calm them slightly. However, another mob gathers at the train station, preventing Welch from leaving town. He will be forced to attend a court hearing the next day, where Greenwood pleads in his favor, stating that the play was nothing out of the ordinary in a baseball context, although some of the Orioles’ fans would like to see criminal charges laid. Wisely, the Browns will keep Welch out of the next day’s game to ease tensions. (3)
- 1909 - Jim Thorpe makes his baseball pitching debut for the Rocky Mount Railroaders (Eastern Carolina League) with a 4-2 win over the Raleigh Red Birds. It is the professional play in this year that will later cause him to lose his Olympic gold medals won in the 1912 Olympics (thus violating the amateur status rules). In 1983, thirty years after his death, his medals will be restored by the International Olympic Committee. (2,3)
- 1916 - Salida Tom Hughes of the Boston Braves pitches a 2-0 no-hitter over the Pittsburgh Pirates at Braves Field. On August 30, 1910 Hughes had pitched no-hit ball for nine innings against the Cleveland Naps, only to allow a hit in the 10th inning and then lose the game in the 11th. (1,4)
- 1951 - Andy Strong, an outfielder for the Crowley Millers, is killed by a lightning strike in the 6th inning of a game with the Alexandria Aces. The game had been halted in the 5th inning due to rain but conditions were clear when play resumed. (3)
- 1978 - Reds’ right-hander Tom Seaver no-hits the Cardinals at Riverfront Stadium, 4-0. The gem is Seaver’s first no-no after taking a hitless game into the ninth inning three times during the first 12 years of his career. (1,3)
- 1989 - San Pedro de Macoris native Sammy Sosa, signed by Texas scout Omar Minaya as an athletic, but malnourished and frail, 16-year-old, becomes the youngest Dominican to play in the majors. The Rangers’ leadoff batter, a twenty-year, seven-month-old rookie, goes 2-for-4 with a double in Texas’ 8-3 loss to the Yankees. (1,3)
- 1993 - The 100th anniversary of Cracker Jack is celebrated with a party at Wrigley Field that includes distributing the candy-coated popcorn and peanut treat, that was introduced at the Chicago World Fair in 1893, free of charge to all of the fans attending the Cubs’ game against Florida. Sailor Jack, the company’s mascot, throws out the ceremonial first pitch. (1)
- 1996 - At the age of 83, Hall of Fame broadcaster Mel Allen, best known for his years doing play-by-play for the Yankees, dies of heart failure. His “How about that” signature line will become familiar to another generation of fans through the syndicated TV show, This Week in Baseball, which he hosted from the program’s inception in 1977. (1,4)
- 2014 - Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, winner of eight National League batting titles, passes away from cancer of the salivary gland at 54. He spent his entire 20-season major league career with the San Diego Padres and is the only player to have been a member of their two World Series teams, in 1984 and 1998. (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.