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Baseball history unpacked, May 30

A thrice-weekly digest, replete with #Cubs, #MLB, and #MiLB factoids gathered from allegedly reputable sources. This one had some wheels.

Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

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:

  • 1894 - Bobby Lowe of the Boston Beaneaters becomes the first player to hit four home runs in one game, in a 20-11 win over the Reds in the second game of a doubleheader. Lowe hits two of his homers in the third inning. (2)
  • 1911 - Umpires Jack Doyle and Bill Klem completely botch a call during a game between the Cubs and Pirates, leading National League President Tom Lynch, himself a former umpire, to order it replayed. With one out in the 8th and the Cubs’ Dave Shean on first base, Jimmy Archer hits a pop fly to SS Honus Wagner, who deliberately lets it drop to the ground in the hope of getting a cheap double play. However, Archer is wise to it and hustles to first, beating the throw. This is when the silliness begins, as Doyle rules that Archer is out because Wagner dropped the ball intentionally, but Klem overrules him, saying Wagner never held the ball in his glove. Archer had started heading back to the dugout when called out by Doyle, and now returns to first upon hearing Klem’s call. But before he can make it, Wagner tags him with the ball. Klem then declares Archer out and the inning over, his reasoning being that Archer should have known that Doyle had been wrong and never left the bag in the first place, so it’s his fault that he was tagged out. Unimpressed, Frank Chance, the Cubs’ manager, files a protest. By the time Lynch issues his ruling on June 7th , blaming both umpires, Doyle has been fired for not knowing the rules. (2)
  • 1922 - Between the morning and afternoon games of a Memorial Day doubleheader, Cliff Heathcote and Max Flack exchange their Cardinals and Cubs uniforms respectively. The pair will both get hits for their new teams in the nightcap. (2)
  • 1935 - Babe Ruth makes his last major league appearance. He plays only the first inning of the opener of a doubleheader between the Boston Braves and Philadelphia Phillies at the Baker Bowl. Phillies pitcher Jim Bivin retires Ruth on an infield grounder in the Babe’s final major league at-bat. (2)
  • 1970 - All-Star voting is returned to the fans, as computerized punch-card ballots appear in stores and ballparks coast to coast. Since 1958 the All-Star squads had been selected by managers, coaches, and players. (1,2)
  • 1977 - Twenty-two-year-old Dennis Eckersley pitches a no-hitter as the Cleveland Indians beat the California Angels, 1-0. Frank Tanana, with three shutouts in his last four games, is the loser. (1,2)

Cubs birthdays: Turk Lown, John Felske, Jay Loviglio, Scott Eyre, Jairo Asencio, Jae Kuk Ryu, Tony Campana*. Also notable: Amos Rusie HOF.

Today in world history:

  • 1431 - Hundred Years’ War: 19-year-old Joan of Arc is burned at the stake by an English-dominated tribunal in Rouen, France.
  • 1539 Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto’s expedition of 10 ships and 700 men lands in Florida.
  • 1821 - James Boyd patents Rubber Fire Hose.

Common sources:


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!