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:
- 1879 - At Star Park, Harry McCormick, the Syracuse starter, hits a first-inning homer to beat Tommy Bond and the Boston Red Stockings, 1-0. The round-tripper is most likely marks the only occurrence in major league history that a pitcher records a 1-0 victory, with his first-inning round-tripper being the game’s lone run. (1,3,4)
- 1912 - In an accommodation to the Wall Street crowd, the Giants open their home stand with a 3:45 p.m. game against the Cubs. But the Cubs score three in the eighth off Christy Mathewson to win, 4-2. (3)
- 1948 - Babe Ruth makes his final public appearance at the New York premiere of The Babe Ruth Story. The Sultan of Swat will die three weeks later. (3)
- 1951 - In a 9-1 victory over the Cubs at Wrigley Field, Jim Russell becomes the first player in major league history to hit a home run from both sides of the plate in two different games. The Dodger outfielder’s accomplishment will be surpassed in 1956 when Yankee slugger Mickey Mantle goes deep both right and left-handed in the same game for the third time. (1,4)
- 1975 - At Wrigley Field, Bill Madlock collects six hits in a game when he singles five times and triples in the Cubs’ 9-8, 10-inning loss to New York. ‘Mad Dog,’ finishing with a .354 average, will win the first of his four batting titles (1975, ‘76, ‘81, ‘83) this season. (1,4)
- 1984 - Commissioner Bowie Kuhn announces that free-agent pitcher Vida Blue will be suspended for the remainder of the season as a result of his conviction on cocaine possession charges last November. (2,3,4)
- 1987 - Catfish Hunter, Billy Williams, and Ray Dandridge are inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. (3)
- 2000 - The Dodgers re-obtain oft-injured pitcher Ismael Valdes from the Cubs for minor leaguers Jamie Arnold and Jorge Piedra. The Dodgers swapped Valdes to the Cubs last year. Piedra was a top prospect in 1998, hitting .383 at Great Falls, while reaching base in 54 straight games. (3)
- 2005 - After waiting through a two hour and 43-minute rain delay at Wrigley Field to start the game, Greg Maddux becomes the 13th pitcher in baseball history to register 3,000 strikeouts. Taking an inside fastball in the top of the third inning, Omar Vizquel of the Giants becomes the historical victim of the 39 year-old Cubs’ right-hander. (1,3)
- 2009 - With a 5-2 win over the Reds, the Cubs move into first place in the tight NL Central race. Rich Harden, who had not won at Wrigley Field since August 24, 2008, is the winner. (3)
- 2010 - Allowing only a second-inning walk to Brennan Boesch, whose promptly erased on a double play, Matt Garza faces the minimum 27 batters in his no-hitter against the Tigers. With the right-hander’s 5-0 victory, the Rays join the 1917 Browns and White Sox as the only teams involved in three no-hitters in the same season. (1,3)
- 2013 - The Cubs trade Alfonso Soriano, along with cash, to the Yankees, in exchange for minor-leaguer Corey Black, a 21 year-old right-handed pitching prospect. The 37-year-old Dominican left fielder made his major league debut with the Bronx Bombers in 1999, developing into an All-Star second baseman, before being dealt to Texas four seasons later in a blockbuster deal that brought Alex Rodriguez to New York. (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.
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!