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:
- 1886 - The New York State League admits clubs from Buffalo, Toronto and Hamilton. The inclusion of the Canadian teams causes the league to change its name to the International League. (2)
- 1942 - Two black players, Jackie Robinson and Nate Moreland, request a tryout with the Chicago White Sox during spring training in Pasadena, California. Sox manager Jimmie Dykes allows the two to work out but later dismisses them. Robinson will have to wait five years before making his major league debut. (2)
- 1970 - The Cleveland Indians and Seattle Pilots play an exhibition game with the experimental X-5 ball, which is reported to be five per cent livelier than a regulation ball. The Pilots beat the Indians, 19-14. One week later, Commissioner Bowie Kuhn orders the livelier ball to be discontinued. (2)
- 1984 - Charlie Lau, renowned batting instructor, dies in Key Colony Beach, FL, at age 50 after a long bout with cancer. Lau, whose major league career batting average was .255, earned his fame as the Kansas City Royals batting coach from 1971 to 1978, where his star pupil was George Brett. Lau also served as a batting coach for the Baltimore Orioles, Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox and wrote a book called “The Art of Hitting .300”. (1,2)
- 1985 - Commissioner Peter Ueberroth reinstates Hall of Fame members Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle, who had been banned from association with organized baseball by former commissioner Bowie Kuhn due to their employment by Atlantic City casinos. Ueberroth’s ruling will allow both men to pursue employment with major league teams. (1,2)
- 1990 - Major league players and owners reach a new collective bargaining agreement that will end the 32-day lockout of spring training camps. Highlights of the deal include increasing the clubs’ contributions to the players’ pension fund, raising the major league minimum salary to $100,000, and a compromise on salary arbitration that leaves 17 percent of players with between two and three years of major league experience eligible. (1,2)
- 1991 - California Angels pitcher Jim Abbott, born without a right hand, lashes a 400-foot triple in an exhibition game against the San Francisco Giants in Scottsdale, Arizona. Pitcher Rick Reuschel surrenders the three-bagger. (2)
- 2009 - The Chicago Cubs announce that they will retire number 31 on May 3rd in honor of Ferguson Jenkins and Greg Maddux. (2)
Today in history:
- 37 - Roman Senate annuls Tiberius’ will and proclaims Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (aka Caligula = Little Boots) emperor.
- 978 - Edward the Martyr, the teenage King of England, is murdered, possibly arranged by his stepmother Queen Ælfthryth, by Corfe Castle.
- 1325 - According to legend, Tenochtitlan is founded on this date on an island in what was then Lake Texcoco in the Valley of Mexico.
- 1662 - First public bus service begins, promoted by Blaise Pascal, operates in Paris as the “Carosses a Cinq Sous” until 1675.
- 1922 - British magistrates in India sentence Mahatma Gandhi to 6 years imprisonment for disobedience.
- 1970 - Two-week US postal strike begins; it is against the government and is the largest wildcat strike in US history.
- (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!