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 a bit of world history, for added perspective.
Today in baseball history:
- 1911 - Automobile maker Hugh Chalmers introduces the concept of a Most Valuable Player in major league baseball. Chalmers announces that he will award a new car to the player in each league who is selected MVP by a vote of baseball writers. (1,2)
- 1974 Hank Aaron ties Babe Ruth’s home-run record by hitting his 714th in Cincinnati, facing Jack Billingham.
- 1994 - Cubs outfielder Karl “Tuffy” Rhodes, who hit three home runs in all of 1993, wallops three home runs off Mets starter Dwight Gooden on Opening Day at Wrigley Field. New York holds on for a 12-8 win. (1,2)
- 1999 - Hall of Fame pitcher Early Wynn dies in Venice, Florida at the age of 79, from complications caused by a stroke. Known as one of the tough pitchers in the game, the highly-competitive Wynn won an even 300 games over a 23-year career with the Washington Senators, Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox. (2)
- 2003 - At Great American Ball Park, Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs hits his 500th career home run off Cincinnati Reds pitcher Scott Sullivan in the seventh inning. (2)
- 2017 - OF Stephen Piscotty has a painful run around the bases in the fifth inning of the Cardinals’ game against the Cubs. First, he reaches base when plunked of the left elbow by Jake Arrieta, then gets hit on the other elbow by C Willson Contreras when he advances to second on a wild pitch. He comes in to score when the Cubs misplay a ground ball near first base, but in the process is whacked in the head by 2B Javier Baez’s throw home and has to leave the game with a possible concussion. His is the only run in a 2-1 Cubs win.
Today in world history:
- 581 - Francis Drake knighted by Queen Elizabeth I aboard Golden Hind at Deptford.
- 1841 - Vice President John Tyler becomes the 10th President of the United States after the death of President William Henry Harrison.
- 1917 - US Senate agrees (82-6) to participate in WWI.
- 1949 - North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) treaty signed in Washington, D.C.
- 1968 - US civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated by James Earl Ray at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. Riots break out in over 100 cities in the United States.
- 1975 - Microsoft is founded as a partnership between Bill Gates and Paul Allen to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800.
- (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!