... 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:
- 1938 - Babe Ruth, knowing he will not be considered for the manager’s job when Burleigh Grimes retires at the end of the season, accepts GM Larry MacPhail’s offer to coach first base for the Dodgers. Ending his ties with major league baseball, the ‘Bambino’ will quit at the end of the season when team captain Leo Durocher becomes the skipper of the Brooklyn club. (1,4)
- 1961 - Eddie Gaedel, the 3’ 7” small person made famous by Browns’ owner Bill Veeck, who employed him to lead-off for one at-bat in a 1951 game, is found dead lying in his bed with bruises on the left side of his face, after returning home from a Chicago bowling alley. Bob Cain, the opposing Tiger pitcher who issued a base-on-balls in the infamous stunt, is the only person from major league baseball to attend the funeral of the 36-year-old, whose cause of death will be determined to be the result a heart attack. (1,3)
- 1972 - By a 5-3 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court confirms lower court rulings in the Curt Flood case, upholding baseball’s exemption from antitrust laws and the legitimacy of its reserve clause. Its decision is narrowly construed, however, and leaves the way open for legislation or collective bargaining to undercut the reserve system. (2,4)
- 1976 - Commissioner Bowie Kuhn voids the sales of Oakland Athletics stars Vida Blue, Rollie Fingers and Joe Rudi. Kuhn orders the players to return to Oakland, but spiteful Athletics owner Charlie Finley will not allow manager Chuck Tanner to use any of them in a game until June 27th. (2,3)
- 1996 - Brant Brown hits the first three home runs of his career on the same day. The 25-year-old rookie goes deep as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning off Chan Ho Park in a 9-6 loss to the Dodgers in the opener of a Wrigley Field twin bill, but his two additional round-trippers contribute to Chicago’s 7-4 victory in the nightcap. (1,3)
- 2002 - In interleague play, the Chicago Cubs defeat the Texas Rangers, 4-3, as for the first time in major league history four members of the 400-home run club play in the same game: Rafael Palmeiro and Juan Gonzalez for Texas and Sammy Sosa and Fred McGriff for Chicago. (1,3)
- 2013 - The city of San Jose, CA files a suit in federal court against Major League Baseball and Commissioner Bud Selig, arguing it has suffered millions of dollars in damages because MLB has refused to allow the Oakland Athletics to move to a new ballpark there. The suit explicitly challenges baseball’s exemption from antitrust laws, which is the relic of a much-criticized Supreme Court decision dating back to 1922. (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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