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.
Today in baseball history:
- 1898 - Cap Anson is released after 19 years as first baseman/manager with the Chicago National League teams. Strong-minded Cap, with a record of 1,288 victories and five NL pennants, was enormously popular in Chicago. Former infielder Tom Burns takes over as manager of the teams which is now dubbed the “Orphans” by reporters.
- 1950 - The Pittsburgh Pirates sign high school pitcher Paul Pettit for a record $100,000 after buying his contract from a film producer, who had signed him to an exclusive contract as an athlete/actor. Under Major League Baseball’s “high-school rule”, scouts are barred from doing so prior to graduation. Unfortunately, with an eventual 1-2 career mark, Pettit will prove not to be worth the trouble.
- 1959- Former major league star Joe Cronin succeeds Will Harridge as president of the American League. A Hall of Fame shortstop who played for the Pirates, Senators and Red Sox, Cronin batted .301 over a 20-year playing career. He signs a seven-year pact and will remain in office until his retirement in 1973.
- 1969 - The National Association approves the use of the Designated Hitter for the International, Eastern, Texas and New York-Pennsylvania leagues. The rules vary slightly for each league. The Texas League will be the first to use the DH, in April. The American and National leagues agree to try an experimental rule change in spring training using a designated pinch hitter, but they don’t agree on the implementation. The AL tells the teams to use the DPH when they are the home team; the NL gives the home manager the choice of which rules to use, but the visiting manager has to agree. The Mets, Giants, and Cardinals say that they will not use the rules, and the Astros and Reds follow suit.
- 2001 - A story in The Wall Street Journal quotes players Monte Irvin, Sal Yvars and Al Gettel, three former members of the 1951 New York Giants, as admitting that they stole catchers’ signs at the Polo Grounds to help the club overtake the 13½-game lead of the Brooklyn Dodgers and win the National League pennant. Except for Yvars, all the participants will deny using the system during the three-game playoff with the Dodgers. According to the report, Bobby Thomson, whose three-run, ninth-inning home run in Game Three of the playoff won the pennant for the Giants, did not, however, steal a sign before hitting his historic home run.
Today in world history:
1865 - Congress passes the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery in America
1949 - First daytime soap on TV “These Are My Children” airs on NBC in Chicago
1950 - President Harry Truman publicly announces support for the development of a hydrogen bomb
2015 - 17-year-old Lydia Ko of New Zealand becomes the youngest golfer in men’s or women’s golf history to be ranked No. 1 in the world
- (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!