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 - Baseball’s reserve clause is born. National League owners meeting in Buffalo, NY, seeking to limit player salaries, led by Boston’s Arthur Soden come to a secret agreement whereby five players on each team will be “reserved” — off-limits to all other clubs. The reserve clause will be in effect for the 1880 season. The owners tell the newspapers that they have agreed upon a uniform contract with no salary advances. (2)
- 1914 - The Boston Braves, who were in last place in mid-July, clinch the pennant after a sensational second-half drive. (1,2 )
- 1915 - The Philadelphia Phillies clinched their first National League pennant, beating the Boston Braves 5-0 behind Grover Alexander’s one-hitter. (1,3)
- 1919 - Arnold Rothstein decides to finance the World Series fix. The plan calls for Nat Evans to give a $40,000 advance to Sport Sullivan to give to the players, with an additional $40,000 to be put in a safe at the Hotel Congress in Chicago, IL. Evans takes $29,000 and bets on the Cincinnati Reds, giving Chick Gandil only $10,000. (2)
More on Rothstein. He was never convicted of that crime.
- 1945 - The Cubs clinch the National League flag on Hank Borowy’s 4-3 win over Pittsburgh in the first game of a doubleheader. (1)
- 1953 - American League owners finally get rid of Bill Veeck... for now. The AL announces that Veeck’s controlling interest in the St. Louis Browns has been sold to a Baltimore, MD group headed by mayor Tom D’Alesandro. The new owners get immediate approval to move the team to Baltimore, something Veeck had been trying in vain to get approved. (1,2)
- 1963 - Playing in his one and ONLY Major League game, Houston Colt ‘45s outfielder John Paciorek, brother of Jim and Tom, went three for three (all singles), walked twice, had three runs batted in and scored four times.
- 1971 - In the sixth inning of the Expos’ 6-5 win over the Cubs, Ron Hunt gets hit by a pitch from Milt Pappas. It is the record 50th time this season Hunt is plunked.
- 1976 - Walter Alston, after 23 years and 2,040 victories with the Dodgers, steps down as manager. Third base coach Tom Lasorda is promoted to the post.
- 1986 - Chicago Cubs rookie Greg Maddux defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 8-3. The losing pitcher was his brother, Mike, also a rookie. It was the first time brothers faced each other as rookies.
Cubs birthdays: Harry Steinfeldt, Bob Anderson, Craig Lefferts. Also notable: Rabbit Benton.
- (1) — Today in Baseball History.
- (2) — Baseball Reference.
- (3) — Society for American Baseball Research.
- (4) — Baseball Hall of Fame.
- (5) — This Day in Chicago Cubs history.
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