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. We also add a bit of world history, for perspective’s sake.
Today in baseball history:
- 1905 - The Chicago Cubs go to Santa Monica, California for spring training, while most clubs go south or stay close to home. (2)
- 1934 - Former New York Giants manager John McGraw dies from prostate cancer in New Rochelle, New York, at age 60. McGraw led the Giants to nine National League pennants and three World Championships during a 33-year managing career. His last public appearance was in 1933 in the first All-Star Game ever as National League manager. (1,2)
- 1951 - Smokey Joe Williams dies in New York City at age 62. Williams has been considered by many historians to be one of the game’s greatest pitchers, even though he never played a game in the major leagues. He spent his entire 27-year career (1905-1932) pitching in the Negro Leagues, Mexico and the Caribbean, but his path to the majors was barred by the color line. During his stellar career, he defeated five Hall of Fame pitchers in exhibition competition: Grover Alexander, Chief Bender, Waite Hoyt, Walter Johnson and Rube Marquard. In 1999, after extensive research on the early years of black baseball reveal his outstanding numbers, Williams will gain Hall of Fame honors himself. (2)
- 1957 - The United States Supreme Court decides 6-3 that baseball is the only professional sport exempt from antitrust laws. The issue arises when pro football seeks similar protection from the laws. (1,2)
- 1969 - A pension plan for Major League Baseball is agreed on, with players to receive $5.45 million per year. They also get a percentage of television revenues, a reduction in the years necessary to qualify for a pension from five to four (retroactive to 1959), and a lowered minimum age for drawing a pension from 50 to 45. (1,2)
- 1973 - Players and owners come to terms on a three-year collective bargaining agreement. The new deal allows teams to open spring training on March 1st. Among the provisions of the agreement are a $15,000 minimum salary, salary arbitration, and the “ten and five” trade rule, which permits a player with ten years in the major leagues, the last five of which are with his current team, to veto any trade involving him. (1,2)
- 1981 - The Executive Board of the Players’ Association votes unanimously to strike on May 29th if the issue of free agent compensation remains unresolved. That deadline will be extended briefly, however, when the Players’ Association’s unfair labor practices complaint is heard by the National Labor Relations Board. (1,2)
- 2016 - Major League Baseball announces changes to the rules that touch on two aspects of play: first limiting the length of mound visits by coaches and managers, and the amount of time between innings, in order to speed up play; and second defining what constitutes a legal slide into a base. The latter is the result of a number of injuries last season to fielders attempting to complete a double play, notably Jung-ho Kang and Ruben Tejada. (2)
Today in history:
- 1751 - 1st performing monkey exhibited in America, NYC (admission 1 cent).
- 1791 - 1st Bank of US chartered.
- 1836 - Samuel Colt patents first multi-shot revolving-cylinder revolver, enabling the firearm to be fired multiple times without reloading.
- 1837 - 1st US electric printing press patented by Thomas Davenport.
- 1862 - Congress forms US Bureau of Engraving and Printing to print newly issued US paper currency, the United States Notes.
- 1913 - The 16th Amendment to the US Constitution becomes law, providing the legal basis for the institution of a graduated income tax.
- (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!