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:
- 1944 - Branch Rickey suggests the pooling of surplus players if major league 4F players are drafted for military service. Nothing comes of the suggestion. (1,2)
- 1948 - Murry Dickson of the St. Louis Cardinals becomes the first pitcher to throw a nine-inning no-hitter in spring training history. Prior to Dickson, two no-hitters had taken place in the spring, but both were shared by more than one pitcher. (2)
- 1972 - Marvin Miller, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association, completes his canvass of players on the strike issue. 663 vote in favor of a strike, ten vote against, and two players abstain. (2)
- 1979 - Major League Baseball umpires meet in Chicago, IL and vote 50-2 to reject new offers from the American and National leagues. They will be on strike when the season starts in a few days. (2)
- 1992 - The Chicago Cubs make one of their best trades ever, acquiring outfielder Sammy Sosa and pitcher Ken Patterson from the Chicago White Sox for outfielder George Bell. While Bell’s career will last only two more seasons, Sosa will become an All-Star and capture national attention by hitting 66 home runs in 1998. Later with the Cubs, in 2003, Sosa will hit his 500th career home run.
- 1993 - Peanuts character Charlie Brown hits a game-winning home run - his first round tripper in 43 years. Almost ten percent of the nearly 18,000 Peanuts strips created by cartoonist Charles M. Schulz focus on baseball. (The whole month of March was like Spring Training.)
- 2000 - At the Tokyo Dome, the New York Mets defeat the Chicago Cubs in 11 innings, 5-1, on Benny Agbayani’s pinch-hit grand slam. Rey Ordóñez commits an error in the game, ending his major league record streak of 101 consecutive errorless games at shortstop. With a swipe of second base, Rickey Henderson joins Ted Williams as the only major league players to steal a base in four different decades. (2)
- 2015 - As had been rumored, the Cubs announce that they have sent top prospect Kris Bryant to their minor league camp, even though he has had an outstanding spring training. Agent Scott Boras expresses outrage, claiming the move is motivated by financial and not baseball reasons, while the Players’ Association threatens some form or retaliation. However, Major League Baseball reminds everyone that teams have the sole right to determine which players end up on their roster, as confirmed under the Basic Agreement. Bryant will be called up on April 17th and will end up winning the Rookie of the Year Award. (2)
Today in world history:
- 240 BC - First recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet.
- 988 - Boudouin IV with the Beard becomes earl of Flanders (some say ‘count of Flanders’).
- 1282 - The people of Sicily rebel against the Angevin king Charles I, in what becomes known as the Sicilian Vespers.
- 1778 - Playwright Voltaire crowned with laurel wreath.
- 1858 - Pencil with attached eraser patented (Hyman L Lipman of Philadelphia).
- 1867 - Alaska Purchase: US buys Alaska from Russia for $7,200,000 ($109 million in 2018), roughly 2 cents an acre.
- 1870 - 15th Amendment to the US constitution is adopted, guarantees right to vote regardless of race.
- 1950 - Bell Telephone Laboratories announces invention of the phototransistor in Murray Hill, New Jersey.
- 1981 - US President Ronald Reagan is shot and wounded in an assassination attempt by John Hinckley, three others are also wounded.
- (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.
... and always, thanks to JohnW53 for additional wisdom.
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!