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:
- 1909 - In the same game he pulls off the first unassisted triple killing in major league history, Neal Ball records nine putouts at shortstop, another big league first, in the Naps’ (Indians) 6-1 win over Boston at Cleveland’s League Park. The diminutive infielder’s glove from that game will be enshrined at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. (1,4)
- 1910 - Cy Young wins his 500th game when the Naps (Indians) beat the Senators in 11 innings at American League Park, 5-4. During his 22-year major-league career, from 1890-1911, pitching for five different teams, the 43-year-old right-hander will compile 511 victories, 94 more than Walter Johnson, who is second on the all-time list. (1)
- 1911 - Former circus acrobat Walter Carlisle completes an unassisted triple play for the Vernon Tigers of the Pacific Coast League. With the score tied at 3 in the sixth inning, and men on first and second base, he makes a spectacular diving catch of a short fly by batter Roy Akin, touches second, and runs to first to retire both runners. Vernon wins, 5-4, with the speedy English-born Carlisle pulling off the only unassisted triple play ever accomplished by an outfielder in organized baseball. (3)
- 1933 - For the first time, brothers on opposite teams homer in the same game. Red Sox C Rick Ferrell hits his home run off brother Wes of Cleveland. Wes hits his off Hank Johnson in the third inning. He will wind up his career with 38 homers in 548 games. Rick will hit only 28 in 1,884 games. (3)
- 1957 - Testifying before the Celler committee, Pacific Coast League President Leslie O’Connor holds that 90 percent of all good ballplayers are monopolized through the farm teams. He adds that the major leagues may control as many as 1,098 players. (3)
- 1961 - Ford Frick, an old friend of Babe Ruth’s, announces that should Ruth’s single-season home run record be beaten after 154 games are played, the record will carry a “distinctive mark”. When asked about the ruling, Roger Maris replies, “A season is a season.” Sportswriter Dick Young suggests an asterisk, which is later claimed to be Frick’s idea. No such designation is ever used in the record books, though, but the incident leads to a myth that an “official record book” lists Maris’s record with an asterisk. The myth is still popularly believed over 50 years later. (3)
- 1974 - Dick Bosman no-hits the A’s at Cleveland Stadium. The 30-year-old right-hander misses a perfect game because of his own fourth-inning throwing error, which gives Oakland their lone baserunner in the Indians’ 4-0 victory. (1)
- 1988 - In the top of the ninth at Wrigley Field, Cubs pitcher Rick Sutcliffe picks Brett Butler off first base unassisted. With Jose Uribe at second, Butler wanders too far off the bag and the Cubs pitcher nabs him for the out. But Sutcliffe loses, 3-1, to Rick Reuschel.
- 1994 - The Kingdome, home of the Seattle Mariners, was closed after four ceiling tiles fell nearly 180 feet into the stands behind home plate. The Mariners were forced into a 22-day road trip before the season was cut short by the players’ strike. (2)
- 2000 - Chicago Cubs general manager Ed Lynch resigns. His job will be taken over by team president Andy MacPhail. (3)
- 2008 - Confusion erupts in a New York-Penn League game between the Staten Island Yankees and Brooklyn Cyclones. Switch-hitting Brooklyn DH Ralph Henriquez Jr. steps to the plate from the right side against Pat Venditte, the minor leagues’ first ambidextrous pitcher of the century. Henriquez then decides he will hit left-handed and Venditte promptly switches his glove to the right hand. Henriquez again calls time and switches sides. The shuffle continues several times before the umpires and managers decide that the batter must declare first from which side he will bat and that players can only switch once per at-bat. Venditte, throwing from the right side, winds up whiffing Henriquez on four pitches. (3)
- 2018 - The only game played today features the Cubs hosting the Cardinals at Wrigley Field. The Cubs win, 9-6, handing interim Cards manager Mike Shildt his first loss as a skipper. Jason Heyward, who ended the first half very hot, has three hits and two RBI, Victor Caratini scores three times and Ian Happ adds a two-run homer. Pedro Strop picks up the save after the Cubs place closer Brandon Morrow on the disabled list before the game. (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.
Thanks for reading!