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 - Cy Young, making his major league debut, is credited with the win when the Cleveland Spiders beat the Colts in Chicago’s West Side Park, 8-1. (1,5)
- 1951 - Lame duck Commissioner Happy Chandler testifies in front of the Senate committee, urging that baseball expand out of its eastern area. He adds that some owners see sport only as big business. (3)
- 1972 - The postponement of the second game of the Midland Cubs and Amarillo Giants doubleheader becomes necessary when thousands of grasshoppers invade Christensen Stadium. The massive clusters of insects, who swarmed from their nests behind the center-field wall after the ballpark’s lights were turned on, made play impossible when infielders couldn’t see their outfielders through the hordes of fluttering invaders. (1)
- 1973 - Roberto Clemente becomes the first Latin-born player to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The late Pirates outfielder, who died tragically on New Year’s Eve in a crash that was carrying relief supplies to the victims of the earthquake in Nicaragua, was elected posthumously when the mandatory five-year waiting period was waived. (1,5)
- 1981 - National League owners agree to the $20.5 million sale of the Cubs to the Tribune Company. In three weeks, Cubs stockholders (led by Bill Wrigley’s with 81 percent) will approve the sale. (3)
- 1989 - After 5 hours and 49 minutes of play in Pittsburgh, the Pirates’ Jeff King mercifully ends the game with an 18th-inning leadoff home run off the Cubs’ Scott Sanderson. Sanderson had pitched eight innings of shutout relief. The Pirates win, 5-4.
- 1998 - In Chicago, Jack Brickhouse, the long-time voice of the Cubs, dies at the age of 82. Brickhouse was the play-by-play announcer from 1941 to 1981. Jack also handled the White Sox announcing from 1948 to 1967 and was the radio voice for the Chicago Bears of the NFL from 1953 to 1976. He even did Bulls games in the 1960s, signing the deal for WGN over drinks with the team’s owner. (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!