On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, Bleed Cubbie Blue brings a you a light-hearted, Cubs-centric look at baseball’s colorful past, with plenty of the lore and deep dives into various narratives that expand over the course of time. Here’s a handy Cubs timeline, to help you follow along. Don’t be afraid to click the links for ‘inside baseball’ on the entries, which change from year to year as we re-examine the subjects.
Today in baseball history:
- 1890 — Appearing in his only major league game, Mr. Lewis (first name unknown) yields 13 hits, walks seven batters, and allows 20 earned runs during the three innings of his major league debut at Brooklyn’s Eastern Park. The rookie’s performance contributes to the last place Buffalo Bisons’ 28-16 loss to the Wonders in the Players’ League contest. (1,3)
- 1901 — At Boston’s Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds, Cy Young of the Americans seven-hits the A’s, 5-3, to win his 300th victory. The 34-year-old will win an additional 211 games to establish a major league record of 511 career victories. (1,4)
- 1905 - Chicago’s Three-Finger Brown scores the first of nine straight wins over Christy Mathewson, 8-1, as he allows just two New York hits. New York’s lone run scores on an error by Billy Maloney. Matty gives up 12 hits while his teammates commit five errors. Of 28 match-ups over their careers, Brown will win 14.
- 1910 - The legendary verse detailing the Cubs’ double-play combination of Tinker to Evers to Chance, entitled That Double Play Again, is published for the first time. When the ‘New York Evening Mail’ republishes the same poem six days later, the newspaper will use the title by which the poem is best known today, Baseball’s Sad Lexicon.
Baseball’s Sad Lexicon
These are the saddest of possible words:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
Tinker and Evers and Chance.
Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon bubble,
Making a Giant hit into a double—
Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
“Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
- 1931 - Thanks to an overflow crowd at Sportsman’s Park, routine fly balls become ground-rule doubles when the ball lands among the fans ringing the outfield walls. After collecting nine two-baggers in the opener, the Cubs and Cardinals combined to hit another twenty-three, including a record 13 by the Redbirds, in the nightcap, setting a major league mark of a total of thirty-two doubles in the twin bill. (1,4)
- 1949 - The major league owners agree to install warning tracks made of cinder in front of outfield fences before the start of next season. The origin of the concept began at Yankee Stadium, where an actual running track, used in the ballpark’s track and field events, helped fielders know their proximity to the outfield fence when attempting to make a play. (1)
- 1949 - The National League commits five errors, allowing the American League to record an 11 - 7 triumph in the All-Star Game at Ebbets Field. The contest marks the first appearance of black players in an All-Star Game: Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella and Don Newcombe in the NL lineup, and Larry Doby among the AL stars. (3)
- 1977 - Steve Henderson hits a game-winning home run off Bruce Sutter to give the Mets a 4-2 victory over the Cubs. After the game the Cubs relief ace admits his arm is bothering him, and asks to be excused from the All-Star Game. Bleeding will be found in Sutter’s arm and he will get the week off after the All-Star break to rest it. (3)
- 1979 - After a delay of an hour and 16 minutes, the White Sox are forced to forfeit the second game of a twi-night doubleheader against the Tigers when over 5,000 fans refuse to leave the field during a Disco Demolition Night promotion gone awry. Mike Veeck’s promotion involves admitting fans for 98 cents with a disco record, collecting the vinyl and then literally blowing up the LPs and 45s in center field. (3)
- 1987 - The Yankees trade P Bob Tewksbury and two minor league pitchers to the Cubs for Steve Trout, who has just pitched back-to-back shutouts. (3)
- 1995 - Montreal defeats the Cubs by a score of 3-2. Throughout the game, Expo 1B David Segui shares his mitt with Chicago’s Mark Grace as Grace’s glove did not arrive at the ballpark due to a shipping mix-up. The players leave the mitt in the field between innings, as players did at the turn of the century. (1,3)
- (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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Thanks for reading!