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:
- 1891 - The International League changes its name to the Eastern Association because it no longer has any Canadian clubs. (2)
- 1932 - The Albuquerque Dons (Class D Arizona-Texas League) open the season with a 43 - 15 win over the El Paso Texans. (2)
- 1961 - Vedie Himsl is designated as head coach of the Cubs for the first two weeks of the season. (2)
- 1971 - Before 41‚121 at Chicago‚ Billy Williams clubs a 10th-inning homer off Bob Gibson to give the Cubs a 2-1 win over the Cards. Joe Torre’s homer‚ off Fergie Jenkins‚ is the only Cardinal score. Here’s the article Al wrote about this game on its 50th anniversary last year. (2)
- 1972 - For the first time in history, the major league season fails to open due to a general player strike. The strike, announced April 1, will erase 86 games from the major league schedule. (1,2)
- 1993 - In his National League debut‚ Cubs P Jose Guzman takes a perfect game into the eighth inning against Atlanta‚ finally settling for a one-hit‚ 1-0 victory. Otis Nixon’s single with two out in the ninth is the Braves’ only hit. (2)
- 2013 - The Upton brothers, playing together for the Braves, stun the Cubs. With Atlanta trailing 5 - 4, B.J. Upton leads off the bottom of the ninth with a homer off Carlos Marmol, and two batters later, Justin Upton hits a walk-off blast to give the Braves a 6-5 win, his second long ball of the game. They are the first pair of brothers to homer in the same inning since Billy and Cal Ripken did so for Baltimore in 1996. (2)
- 2014 - Texas P Yu Darvish becomes the fastest starting pitcher to reach 500 strikeouts when he fans David DeJesus and Wil Myers in the first inning of a 1-0 win against the Rays in his first start of the season. It took Yu only 401⅔ innings to reach the total, beating Kerry Wood, who had needed 404⅔ innings. (2)
Cubs birthdays: Rudy Schwenck, Don Elston, Phil Regan, Thomas Diamond. Also notable: Joe Williams HOF, Mickey Cochrane HOF, Ernie Lombardi HOF, Bert Blyleven HOF.
Today in world history:
- 774 - Charles the Great (Charlemagne) confirmed the gift to the Pope of the territories belonging to Ravenna made by his father Pepin the Short at Quiercy-sur-Loire in 753.
- 1652 - Cape Colony, the 1st European settlement in South Africa, established by Dutch East India Company under Jan van Riebeeck.
- 1772 - Catherine the Great Empress of Russia, ends tax on men with beards, enacted by Tsar Peter the Great in 1698. (There is probably no truth to the rumor that this was then handed down to the New York Yankees.)
- 1889 - George Eastman begins selling his Kodak flexible rolled film for the first time.
- 1896 - First modern Summer Olympic Games open in Athens, Greece; American athlete James Connolly becomes first modern Olympic champion when he wins triple jump (then two hops and a jump); later third in long jump, second in high jump.
- 1909 - North Pole reached by Americans Robert Peary & Matthew Henson.
- 1930 - Hostess Twinkies invented by bakery executive James Dewar.
- 1938 - Teflon invented by Roy J. Plunkett.
- 1974 - 200,000 attend rock concert “California Jam” at the Ontario Motor Speedway in Ontario, California; line-up includes Earth, Wind & Fire; Black Sabbath; Deep Purple; and Emerson, Lake & Palmer (this was simulcast on WDAI 94.7 FM. I know because I was listening and watching.)
- (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!