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 and change 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:
- 1876 - Ross Barnes of the Chicago White Stockings hits the first home run in National League history off the Cincinnati Reds’ Cherokee Fisher. According to the Chicago Tribune, “Barnes, coming to bat with two men out, made the finest hit of the game straight down the left field to the carriages, for a clean home run.” (2)
- 1909 - Honus Wagner steals his way around the bases in the first inning of a game against the Cubs. It is the fourth time he steals second base, third and home in the same inning, a National League record. The record holder in the American League is Ty Cobb, who will pull the trick four times between 1909 and 1924. No player in major league history has ever accomplished this feat in each league, and only two more have accomplished the feat twice during their careers: Max Carey (NL) and Jackie Tavener (AL). (1,2)
- 1917 - At Wrigley Field, Fred Toney of the Cincinnati Reds and Hippo Vaughn of the Chicago Cubs pitch a double no-hitter for nine innings, but the Reds win, 1-0, on two hits in the top of the 10th. Jim Thorpe drives in the winning run, scored by Larry Kopf, and Toney retires three Cubs in the bottom half of the inning, completing the fourth ten-inning no-hitter to date. (1,2)
- 1939 - Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees does not play against the Detroit Tigers at Briggs Stadium, ending at 2,130 his streak of consecutive games played. An ailing Gehrig removes himself from the lineup, telling his manager Joe McCarthy that he cannot play because of continuing weakness. Doctors will later diagnose Gehrig with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a fatal disease that affects the muscles. Gehrig will never play again. (1,2)
- 1956 - At Wrigley Field, the New York Giants (25) and Chicago Cubs (23) set a major league record with 48 players on the field in a 17-inning marathon finally won by the visiting Giants, 6-5. The two teams combine to intentionally walk 11 batters, also a record, with the Cubs contributing seven of the free passes. Losing pitcher Jim Brosnan chips in with four walks, all intentional. Cubs third baseman Don Hoak is not one of the strollers, as he sets a National League record with six strikeouts, all against different pitchers, while Ernie Banks, Willie Mays and Wes Westrum are twice walked intentionally. Whitey Lockman starts in left field, switches to first base, returns to left, and finishes at first. Ex-Giant Monte Irvin is 0 for 5 against five pitchers. The game is six minutes shy of the 5:19 record set by the Dodgers-Bees in 20 innings in 1940. (2)
- 1976 - Jose Cardenal goes 6 for 7 with four RBI, including a double and a home run, as the Cubs defeat the Giants, 6-5, in the 14-inning first game of a doubleheader. (2)
- 2000 - In Kerry Wood’s comeback game following surgery, the fireballer sets down the Houston Astros for six innings, allowing three hits and one run. The Chicago Cubs make it easy for Wood, scoring 10 runs in the first five innings. Wood helps himself with one of three Cubs home runs. (2)
Today in world history:
- 1536 - Anne Boleyn is arrested and taken to the Tower of London.
- 1776 - France & Spain agreed to give weapons to American rebels.
- 1908 - Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer register their popular song “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” for copyright.
- (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.
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