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 deep dives into various narratives that we can observe as they expand over the course of time. Here’s a handy Cubs timeline, to help you follow along. We also include Cubs’ player birthdays and a bit of world history, for context.
Today in baseball history:
- 1909 - Before an Opening Day crowd of 30,000 at the Polo Grounds, Red Ames of the New York Giants pitches a no-hitter for nine innings against the Brooklyn Superbas, but surrenders a hit with one out in the 10th, then loses the game, 3-0, in the 13th. The Giants’ outfield has no putouts. (1,2)
- 1915 - Rube Marquard of the New York Giants no-hits the Brooklyn Robins, winning, 2-0. (2)
- 1942 - At Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis, Hiram “Hi” Bithorn becomes the first Puerto Rican to play in major league baseball. The Cubs right-handed pitcher from Santurce makes a relief appearance in the 4-2 loss to the Cardinals. (2)
- 1947 - 28-year-old Jackie Robinson makes an historic debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the first African-American to play major league baseball in the 20th century. Robinson goes 0 for 3 in his debut, but scores the deciding run in a 5-3 victory over the Boston Braves at Ebbets Field. He handles 11 chances at first base, a new position for him. Coach Clyde Sukeforth, interim manager and the man credited with first scouting Robinson, guides the Dodgers to two victories before stepping down. Robinson is the first black player to appear in the majors since 1884. (2)
- 1977 - Hank Aaron becomes the first player to have his uniform number retired by two teams. The Atlanta Braves retire his No. 44 during a pre-game ceremony. The Milwaukee Brewers had previously retired Aaron’s number. (2)
- 1997 - The 50th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s breaking the color barrier in major league baseball is celebrated before 54,047 at Shea Stadium during a game between the Mets and the Dodgers. U.S. President Bill Clinton and Jackie’s widow, Rachel Robinson, both speak during the 35-minute presentation, but the surprise of the evening occurs when acting Commissioner Bud Selig announces that Robinson’s number 42 will be retired in perpetuity for every team. (2)
- 2021 - Cubs P Ryan Tepera is suspended for three games and manager David Ross for one for throwing at Brewers P Brandon Woodruff two days earlier. The offense would probably have gone unnoticed, were in not for C Willson Contreras confessing to the trespass in a post-game interview, saying he called for the pitch after having himself been hit by a pitch earlier in the game. (2)
Today in world history:
- 1250 - Kublai is acclaimed the Great Khan by a Mongol Great Council.
- 1534 - Thomas Cromwell is appointed Chief Secretary to King Henry VIII of England.
- 1783 - American Revolution: the Continental Congress ratified preliminary articles of peace, ending the seven-year-long war with Great Britain.
- 1865 - Abraham Lincoln dies nine hours after he is shot by John Wilkes Booth while attending the play “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theatre in Washington.
- 1955 - Ray Kroc opens first McDonald’s Inc. fast food restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois.
- 1975 - 1st appearance of San Diego Chicken.
- (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 thanks to JohnW53 and our other reader 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!