On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, Bleed Cubbie Blue is pleased to present a light-hearted, Cubs-centric look at baseball’s colorful past, with plenty of the lore and various narratives to follow as they unfold over the course of time. Here’s a handy Cubs timeline, to help you follow along.
Today in baseball history:
- 1880 - The National League reelects William Hulbert as president. (2)
- 1925 - The American League extends Ban Johnson’s contract to 1935 and gives him a raise to $40,000. (1,2)
- 1936 - The American League okays seven night baseball games for St. Louis. The National League adopts a new design for home plate. It will have beveled edges, the first change in 50 years. The AL adopts a rule stating that no batter can be batting champion unless he has 400 or more at bats. (1,2)
- 1955 - The Dodgers send P Russ Meyer to the Cubs for P Don Elston and cash. Meyer has the best record in history against the Cubs, at one point going 22-1 against them. The Phils purchase veteran Frankie Baumholtz from the Cubs. Frankie will play in 76 games next year without an extra-base hit, a National League record that will not be topped. (2)
- 1965 - While giving a speech in Columbia, MO, Branch Rickey collapses and dies a few days short of his 84th birthday. Player, manager, an extraordinary judge of baseball talent, and a shrewd trader, he became perhaps the game’s most influential executive. (2)
- 1975 - The colorful Bill Veeck returns. A group headed by him buys 80 percent of the White Sox from John Allyn. (2)
- 1980 - The Cubs trade reliever Bruce Sutter, the 1979 National League Cy Young Award winner, to the Cardinals for 3B Ken Reitz, OF-1B Leon Durham, and a player to be named. (2)
- 2014 - One day after their south side rivals, it’s the Cubs’ turn to steal the headlines at the winter meetings in San Diego, CA. First, they sign highly sought-after free agent P Jon Lester to a six-year deal worth $155 million, and then they acquire C Miguel Montero from Arizona for minor leaguers Jeferson Mejia and Zack Godley. (2)
- 2018 - The results of the Veterans Committee voting for the 2019 Hall of Fame Election are announced: relief pitcher Lee Smith is a unanimous selection, and OF/DH Harold Baines joins him by being named on 12 of the 16 ballots. Lou Piniella falls just short, with 11 votes. While Smith’s election had been widely anticipated, that of Baines comes as a surprise, given that he had done quite poorly in the original BBWAA voting. (2)
Today in history:
- 536 - Byzantine General Belisarius enters Rome while the Ostrogothic garrison peacefully leaves the city, returning the old capital to its empire.
- 1212 - Frederick II (later also Holy Roman Emperor) crowned King of Germany in Mainz.
- 1889 US President Benjamin Harrison dedicates the Chicago Auditorium, designed by Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler, then largest building in the US.
- 1965 - ”A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the first Peanuts animated TV special, premieres on CBS in the US.
- 1968 - NLS (a system for which hypertext and the computer mouse were developed) is publicly demonstrated for the first time in San Francisco.
- 1985 - Phoenix, Arizona, gets three inches of snow.
- (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.
Also please remember that this is supposed to be fun.