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:
- 1880 - John Montgomery Ward of the Providence Grays pitches a perfect game against the Buffalo Bisons, winning 5 - 0. Losing pitcher Pud Galvin makes the last out. This is the second perfect game in the National League in six days; the first one was pitched by Lee Richmond on June 12th. The next perfect game by a National League pitcher will not happen for 84 years, when Jim Bunning turns the trick on Father’s Day in 1964. (2)
- 1915 - Zip Zabel comes out of the Chicago Cubs bullpen with two outs in the 1st inning to face the Brooklyn Robins. Zabel wins the game in the 19th inning, 4 - 3, in the longest relief effort in major league history. Brooklyn starter Jeff Pfeffer goes the distance, scattering 15 hits as he labors 18 1/3 innings, only to lose on a throwing error by second baseman George Cutshaw. (2)
- 1962 - Chicago Cubs outfielder Lou Brock hits a home run into the right-center field bleachers at the Polo Grounds, 460 feet from home plate, in the first game of a Chicago doubleheader sweep over the New York Mets, 8 - 7 and 4 - 3. Known more for his speed than his power, Brock becomes the second player to reach that section of seats. Joe Adcock was the first. (1,2)
- 1971 - Don Kessinger* of the Chicago Cubs goes 6 for 6, with five singles and a double, in a 7-6, 10-inning decision over the St. Louis Cardinals at Wrigley Field. (2)
- 1987 - Former Kansas City Royals manager Dick Howser dies from brain cancer at the age of 51. The popular Howser, who led the Royals to the 1985 World Championship, fell ill during the 1986 season. He attempted to return to managing in spring training in 1987, only to give up the comeback because of his weakened condition. His uniform number, 10, will be retired by the club on July 3rd. (1,2)
- 1993 - Baseball owners vote overwhelmingly, 26-2, in favor of expanding the postseason for the first time since 1969. The new system, which is set to begin in 1994, will double the number of teams that qualify to eight by realigning each league into three divisions, with two teams qualifying as wild cards. The 1994 strike will delay its implementation by one year, however. (2)
- 1995 - Relief pitcher Mitch Williams is released by the California Angels. Williams, who considered retirement last year after being released by Houston, ends his career with a unique statistic on his resume: 526 hits and 537 walks allowed in 684⅔ innings pitched. He is the only pitcher in major league history with more than 250 innings to allow more walks than hits. (2)
Today in world history:
- 1462 - Vlad III the Impaler attempts to assassinate Mehmed II (The Night Attack) forcing him to retreat from Wallachia.
- 1579 - English navigator Francis Drake lands on the coast of California at Drakes Bay, names it “New Albion”.
- 1631 - Mumtaz Mahal dies during childbirth. Her husband, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan I, then spends more than 20 years building her tomb, the Taj Mahal.
- 1885 - Statue of Liberty arrives in NYC aboard French ship `Isere’.
- 2003 - Moneyball, a book about the 2003 Oakland Athletics baseball team and GM Billy Beane’s sabermetric approach, inspired by Bill James, is published.
- (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.
Also please remember that this is supposed to be fun.
Thank you for your cooperation. And thanks for reading!