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:
- 1900 - At an American League meeting in Chicago, Ban Johnson announces that an A.L. team will be placed in the Windy City to ensure the stability of the league. Other franchises are in Kansas City, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Indianapolis, Detroit, Cleveland, and Buffalo. In an agreement with Chicago National League officials, the A.L. club will be situated on the south side of the city and will be permitted to use the nickname Chicago White Stockings, formerly used by the N.L. team. However, the White Stockings will not be able to use the word Chicago in their official name. The new franchise, known as the White Sox, will be the 1901 A.L. champion in the junior circuit’s inaugural season as a major league. (1,2)
- 1953 - American League owners turn down a bid made by Bill Veeck to move the St. Louis Browns to Baltimore, MD. Spearheaded by Washington Senators owner Clark Griffith, the vote is 6-2 against. Some observers speculate that the rejection is meant to force Veeck into selling his majority interest in the franchise. The next day, Veeck announces his willingness to sell the Browns for just under $2.5 million. The vote only delays the move by a year, however. (1,2)
- 1972 - Hall of Fame third baseman Pie Traynor dies in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at the age of 72. Traynor batted .320 over a 17-year career with the Pittsburgh Pirates, with a career-high .366 in 1930. (2)
- 1994 - Eric Show, who won 100 games pitching for the San Diego Padres, dies at age 37 of unknown causes at Rancho L’Abri Drug and Alcohol treatment center near San Diego, California. (1,2)
- 1999 - National League Rookie of the Year Kerry Wood suffers a ligament tear in his right elbow. It will require surgery that will keep him out of action until 2000. (2)
- 2001 - Slugger Sammy Sosa signs a four-year contract extension with the Chicago Cubs. In the last three seasons the prolific home run hitter has averaged nearly sixty homers per year (179). (2)
- 2006 - In the inaugural World Baseball Classic, Mexico eliminates the United States, 2-1, at Angel Stadium in front of 35,284 boisterous fans whose allegiance is split down the middle. Mexico had helped the United States in Round One by beating Canada, thus staving off elimination for the Americans, but showed no such gratitude in Round Two. Jorge Cantú drives in both runs and eight pitchers limit the US team to three hits, none after the 5th inning. With Japan, the United States and Mexico all finishing 1-2 in Round Two, a complicated tiebreaker involving runs allowed divided by the number of innings played against each other is invoked. Japan allowed the fewest runs per inning played and joins South Korea, Cuba and the Dominican Republic in the final round in San Diego. Roger Clemens gives up six hits and strikes out four, allowing two runs in 4⅓ innings. In the third inning, Mario Valenzuela slices a fly ball directly down the right field line that hits off the foul pole for a home run. But controversial umpire Bob Davidson rules the ball went off the short outfield wall and awards Valenzuela a double, which sets off a lengthy argument from Mexico. On March 12th, Davidson overruled a decision that denied Japan a crucial run in a loss to the United States. Cantú, however, nullifies the call this time with a two-out RBI single for a 1-0 Mexico lead. The United States score their only run in the fourth, when Vernon Wells drives in Chipper Jones with a sacrifice fly. In the inning, Valenzuela makes a defensive gem in right field, taking away a home run from Alex Rodriguez. He then scores his second run in the 5th on Cantú’s RBI groundout. Those are all the runs Mexico needs. (2)
- 2020 - Commissioner Rob Manfred announces that the start of the upcoming Major League Baseball season will be delayed until mid-May at the earliest, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic which forced a stop to spring training on March 12th.
- 2020 - The simCubs sign manager Brandon Palmer, formerly a coach for the simBelgian national football team.
Today in history:
- 597 BC - Babylonians capture Jerusalem, replace Jehoiachin with Zedekiah as king.
- 1527 - Battle of Khanua: Mughal Emperor Babur defeats Rajput forces led by Rana Sanga consolidating Mughal power.
- 1827 - First US newspaper, “Freedom’s Journal” owned and operated by African Americans begins publishing in New York City.
- 1867 - First publication of an article by Joseph Lister outlining the discovery of antiseptic surgery, in “The Lancet”.
- 1882 - U.S. Senate ratifies the Geneva Convention of 1864, legitimatizing the International Red Cross and the American Red Cross.
- 1926 - Robert H. Goddard launches the first liquid-fueled rocket, goes 184’ (56 meters).
- 1972 - John Lennon and Yoko Ono are served with deportation papers.
- (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!