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 various narratives to follow as they unfold 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 - George Bechtel‚ RF for Louisville‚ who was suspended for “crookedness in the last Louisville-Mutuals game‚” gets in deeper trouble when P Jim Devlin shows his manager a telegram from Bechtel saying‚ “We can win $100 if you lose the game today.” (2)
- 1884 - Chicago White Stockings ace Larry Corcoran switch pitches in a 2-0 win over Cleveland. Tony Mullane did it two years ago. (2)
- 1898 - A hard week for managers: Tom Brown is replaced at Washington by ”Dirty Jack” Doyle‚ Billy Barnie is fired by 9th-place Brooklyn. Barnie’s successor‚ CF Mike Griffin‚ resigns after 4 games; President Charlie Ebbets fills in. ”Scrappy” Bill Joyce is dropped by the New York Giants in favor of Cap Anson‚ who takes over tomorrow. (2)
- 1900 - The New York Times publishes a letter to the editor from Joseph Mann regarding Cap Anson’s book A Ballplayers’s Career‚ reviewed a week earlier. Anson’s is the first autobiography by a major league player. According to Mann‚ Anson’s book credits him‚ while a pitcher at Princeton‚ as the first pitcher to throw the curve ball‚ and the pitcher writes to expand on that. He says it was he who should receive credit‚ not Candy Cummings or Charles Avery of Yale‚ who he beat 3-0 on May 29‚ 1875‚ allowing no hits. He relates that in 1874 the Philadelphia team played at Princeton and‚ before the game and between innings Candy Cummings would stand at home plate and throw overhand down to second base curving the ball. Cummings also pitched that day and Mann says that Candy’s catcher said that sometimes Candy’s pitches curved‚ but not always. Mann says that day he got “two base hits and three singles against Cummings” and that he saw no curves‚ but was intrigued by the throws to second base. Mann says he worked on the curve that fall and over the winter unveiling it that spring. Mann ends his letter with: “I think I’ve said enough to establish the fact that I was the one who initiated the movement and revolutionized the pitching department of baseball.” A Mr. Rankin will answer Mann’s claims with a September 26 letter citing newspaper accounts of Alphonse Martin and Candy Cummings throwing curves in. (2)
- 1904 - In the opener of the battle for first place at the Polo Grounds‚ Christy Mathewson pitches a brilliant one-hitter to beat Chicago‚ 5-0. The lone hit is Johnny Kling’s 4th-inning single. The other action is provided by umpire Charlie Zimmer‚ who ejects Sam Mertes on a strike call. He also thumbs John McGraw‚ coaching at third base‚ to the bench‚ and sends Dummy Taylor‚ the first base coach‚ to the clubhouse. One wag said later that Taylor was making too much noise. (2)
- 1911 - The Cubs trade C Johnny Kling‚ P Orlie Weaver‚ P Hank Griffin‚ and OF Al Kaiser to the Boston Rustlers for C Peaches Graham‚ P Cliff Curtis‚ Wilbur “Lefty” Good‚ and OF Bill Collins. Curtis (1-8)‚ who began the year with five straight losses after ending last season with 18 straight defeats‚ will be swapped to the Phillies in August. (2)
- 1944 - Joe Nuxhall, at 15 years, 10 months and 11 days, becomes the youngest player in major league history when he pitches two-thirds of an inning for the Cincinnati Reds in an 18-0 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. He manages to give up five walks and two hits before Bill McKechnie takes him out. The Cards tie a league record by stranding 18 runners in the most lopsided shutout win in the National League in 10 years. The loser at the end of the day is Bill Lohrman. (1,2)
- 1949 - Frank Frisch‚ who began the season as a coach with the Giants‚ replaces Charlie Grimm as manager of the last-place Cubs. Frisch was the first choice of Grimm‚ who goes into the front office as a vice president after tomorrow’s games. According to Grimm‚ “the Cubs have never had a fighting manager of the Frisch type for forty years. The last manager who’d compare with Frisch in my book is Frank Chance.” (2)
- 1966 - Sonny Siebert pitches a no-hitter against the Senators. Leon Wagner homers off loser Phil Ortega as first-place Cleveland wins 2-0. (1)
- 1974 - During a 12-0 win over the Astros‚ Phillies 3B Mike Schmidt hits a ball off the public address speaker hanging from the Astrodome roof‚ 117 feet up and 300 feet from the plate. Schmidt must settle for a titanic single. Jim Lonborg is the winner. (1,2)
- 1977 - Rick Reuschel scatters four hits and strikes out seven to give the Cubs a 3-1 win over the Giants. Bob Knepper loses‚ his first decision of the year. (2)
- 1978 - The Yankees send former ace Ken Holtzman back to the Cubs‚ his first team‚ in exchange for minor leaguer Ron Davis. Holtzman proved a disappointment in New York‚ and he will not recapture his form in Chicago. Davis will blossom in 1979 when his 14-2 mark sets a record for most wins by a rookie reliever. (2)
- 1981 - The Philadelphia Phillies’ Pete Rose hits a single in the 1st inning off Nolan Ryan that gives him 3,630 hits, tying Stan Musial’s National League mark. The Phillies beat the Houston Astros, 5-4, before more than 57,000 fans at Veterans Stadium. (1,2)
- 1984 - The Cubs add a ninth-inning insurance run on a triple steal to beat the Cardinals’ Joaquin Andujar, 2-0. Leon Durham steals home‚ while Jody Davis takes third base and Larry Bowa goes to second. (2)
- 2004 - The Cubs down the Cardinals‚ 12-3‚ scoring 10 runs in the fourth inning. Chicago ties a team record with 11 hits in the frame‚ nine of them consecutive. (2)
- 2013 - Javier Baez of the Daytona Cubs (Florida State League) hits four home runs in a 9-6 win over the Fort Myers Miracle. He is the second player in the circuit’s history to accomplish the feat, after Ryan Harvey, also of Daytona, on July 28, 2006. (2)
Cubs birthdays: Mike Kreevich, Frank Demaree.
Today in world history:
- 1194 - Major fire at Chartres Cathedral, France, leads to it rebuilt as the high point of French Gothic style.
- 1540 - Thomas Cromwell arrested in Westminster.
- 1692 - The first victim of the Salem witch trials, Bridget Bishop, is hanged for witchcraft in the colony of Massachusetts.
- 1752 - Benjamin Franklin tests the lightning conductor with his kite-flying experiment.
- 1847 - Chicago Tribune begins publishing.
- 1898 - US Marines land in Cuba during Spanish–American War.
- 2003 - The Spirit Rover is launched, beginning NASA’s Mars Exploration Rover mission.
- (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.
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.
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