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.
We apologize in advance for any attempts at humor in these articles.
Today in baseball history:
- 1896 - A Chicago jury acquits Colts outfielder Walt Wilmot of charges of violating the Sabbath law by playing Sunday baseball last year. Charges against other players are subsequently dropped, and the way is cleared for future Sunday ball in Chicago. (2)
- 1919 - John McGraw, Charles A. Stoneham, and Tammany Hall politician Judge Francis X. McQuade buy controlling interest in the New York Giants from the John Brush estate. Having drawn just 265,000 fans in 1918, the club is sold at a bargain price. The three will spend many days in courtrooms fighting among themselves, and fending off government charges about Stoneham’s business practices. (1,2)
- 1922 - Ben Shibe, half-owner and president of the Philadelphia Athletics since 1906, dies at 84. A partner in the Al Reach Sporting Goods company, Shibe invented the machinery that made possible the manufacture of standard baseballs. (2)
- 1954 - Former Yankees outfielder Joe DiMaggio marries actress Marilyn Monroe. (1,2)
- 1987 - Catfish Hunter and Billy Williams* are elected to the Hall of Fame by the BBWAA. Hunter made his name as the ace of the Oakland Athletics pitching staff in their World Championship years in the mid-1970s and made his fortune as one of the first rated free agents. Williams set a National League record by playing in 1,117 consecutive games and accumulating 426 home runs and a batting title. (1,2)
- 2002 - The Chicago Cubs sign free agent outfielder Darren Lewis to a one-year contract. (2)
- 2020 - The sign-stealing scandal claims another victim, as one day after Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch lost their jobs, Red Sox manager Alex Cora, who was fingered by Major League Baseball for his participation in the scheme when he was Hinch’s bench coach in 2017, is let go as well before MLB can complete its investigation on his role in a similar scheme concocted by the Sox in 2018. This does not close the book on the matter, however, as he and the team will also likely be issued harsh penalties at some later date. (2)
Cubs birthdays: Hank Gornicki.
Today in world history:
- 1129 - Formal approval of the Order of Templars at the Council of Troyes.
- 1514 - Pope Leo X issues a papal bull against slavery.
- 1690 - The musical instrument, the clarinet is invented in Nürnberg, Germany.
- 1784 - US Congress of the Confederation ratifies the Treaty of Paris, signed September 3, 1783, ending the Revolutionary War, and forwards it to Great Britain.
- 1878 - US Supreme court rules race separation on trains unconstitutional.
- 1963 - George Wallace sworn in as Governor of Alabama, his address states “segregation now; segregation tomorrow; segregation forever!”
- 1979 - US President Jimmy Carter proposes Martin Luther King’s birthday be a holiday.
- (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.
- For world history.
There is a very active baseball history community and there are many facets to their views. We strive for clarity. Please be aware that we are trying to make the historical record as represented by our main sources coherent and as accurate as is possible. No item is posted here without corroboration. Some of these items spread from site to site without being verified. That is exactly why we ask for reputable sources, so that we can address them to the originators. BBRef is very cooperative in this regard, as are SABR and the Baseball Almanac. We have removed thenationalpastime from our sourcing list, as there have been multiple complaints about their content and they do not respond to attempts to communicate.
Also please remember that this is supposed to be fun.
Thank you for your cooperation. And thanks for reading!