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 - On Labor Day at Brooklyn’s Washington Park, the Bridegrooms, later known as the Dodgers, win all three games against Pittsburgh in the first tripleheader ever played. The home team sweeps the visiting Alleghenys, who will become the Pirates next season, 10-9, 3-2, and 8-4. (1) There have only been three.
- 1902 - In today’s split of a doubleheader with the Phillies‚ Joe Tinker‚ Johnny Evers‚ and Frank Chance appear together in the Chicago Orphans lineup for the first time‚ but not in the positions that will earn them immortality. Evers‚ a New York State League rookie‚ starts at SS‚ with Tinker at 3B‚ Chance at 1B‚ and veteran Bobby Lowe at 2B. Philadelphia takes the opener‚ 11-3, behind Doc White‚ while Chicago is victorious in the nitecap‚ 6-1‚ behind Jack Taylor’s pitching. (2,3)
- 1906 - The American League’s longest game to date takes place in Boston before 16‚000. Rookies Jack Coombs and 24-year-old Joe Harris go the route in a 24-inning struggle‚ ending with a 4-1 Athletics victory after 4 hours and 47 minutes. It sets the major league record‚ later broken‚ and is still the AL mark for two pitchers. Two batters single, and then Socks Seybold and Danny Murphy hit triples with two outs to end the contest. Philadelphia’s Coombs faces 89 batters‚ striking out a major league record 18 (broken in 1962) and giving up 14 hits‚ while the Americans’ Harris fans 14 and yields 16 hits. Harris drops his record to 2-21‚ and will start next year at 0-6 before exiting the majors for Providence‚ holding the distinctions of the worst winning percentage (.091 for a 3-30 record) and the fewest wins for any pitcher with 300 innings pitched. The 24 innings pitched will only be exceeded this century by the 26-inning battle on May 1‚ 1920 between Joe Oeschger and Leon Cadore. There won’t be a longer game in the AL until May 8‚ 1984. (3)
- 1950 - Philadelphia’s GM Bob Carpenter, to save the Phillies a 24-hour train trip from to play the Braves, charters his team’s first plane flight. The TWA Lockheed Constellation, delayed because of mechanical problems, makes a precarious landing during a severe thunderstorm on a rainy, foggy day in Boston, resulting in the anxious players loudly cheering the pilot for their safe arrival. (1,4)
- 1962 - Cubs 30-year-old rookie Cuno Barragan‚ sidelined since spring training when he broke his ankle‚ finally gets his first at bat and hits his only major league home run. His clout comes off Giants P Dick LeMay‚ but the Cubs lose 4-3 in 14 innings. (3)
- 1964 - Masanori Murakami becomes the first native-born Japanese player to appear in the U.S. major leagues when he throws a scoreless eighth inning in the Giants’ 4-1 loss to the Mets at Shea Stadium. The 20-year-old southpaw, scheduled to play only minor league ball until June as an ‘exchange player,’ will be allowed to stay and play in one full season with San Francisco next year, before returning to the Nankai Hawks, ending his brief American stint with a 5-1 record and an ERA of 3.75. (2,3)
- 1971 - In a 10-7 victory against the Phillies at Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium, the Pirates become the first major league team to start an all-black team. The lineup includes infielders Al Oliver (1b), Rennie Stennett (2b), Jackie Hernandez (ss), Dave Cash (third base), and outfielders Willie Stargell (lf), Gene Clines (cf), Roberto Clemente (right field), with Dock Ellis (p) and Manny Sanguillen (c) making up the battery. (2) Box Score.
- 1971 - At Wrigley Field‚ pitcher Fergie Jenkins leads the Cubs to a 5-2 win over Montreal by clouting two home runs and driving in three runs. Bill Stoneman takes the loss. (3)
- 1987 - In a 3-2 loss to the Cubs‚ Houston’s Billy Hatcher becomes the first player this season to be ejected for using an illegal corked bat‚ and will eventually be suspended for 10 games by National League president Bart Giamatti. Hatcher claims he borrowed the bat from P Dave Smith and only used it in batting practice. Baseball has seen a rash of protests regarding allegedly doctored bats this season‚ partly in response to the record number of home runs being hit. (1,3)
- 1987 - Williamsport (Eastern League) Bills catcher Dave Bresnahan introduces a new wrinkle to baseball, the hidden potato. With a Reading runner, Rick Rudblad, on third base, Bresnahan returns from a time out with a shaved potato hidden in his mitt. On the next pitch he throws the potato wildly on a pickoff attempt. When the runner trots home, Bresnahan tags him out with the real ball. The umpire, unamused, rules the runner safe, gives the catcher an error, and fines him $50. He is released the following day. But that night, their last game of the season, the Bills admit any fan for $1 and a potato. On each potato, Bresnahan autographs, “This spud’s for you.” (2)
- 1989 - Eight days after banning Pete Rose from baseball for life, Commissioner Bart Giamatti dies suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 51. (2)
- 1999 - Due to the union chief Richie Phillips’ ill-advised ploy to use mass resignations to force the owners into a new collective bargaining agreement, twenty-two of baseball’s regular 68 umpires find themselves unemployed. In an understanding mediated by U.S. District Judge J. Curtis Joyner, the Umpires Association agrees to a deal, costing those members their jobs, but allows for an arbitration proceeding that could permit some of the displaced umps back into the game at some point. (1,3)
- 2001 - Cubs’ slugger Sammy Sosa hits the longest home run in Turner Field history when his two-run shot, the outfielder’s 53rd of the season, travels 471 feet to straightaway center field. The historic homer comes in the first inning off four-time Cy Young Award winner Greg Maddux in the team’s 5-3 victory in Atlanta. (1,4)
- 2019 - Justin Verlander throws his third career no-hitter, blanking the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre, 2-0. Astros rookie Abraham Toro hit a two-out, two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning of the scoreless contest to allow the Houston right-hander to complete the no-no in the bottom of the frame, including his fielding of a ground out for the final out of the game. (2,3)
- (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!