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Baseball history unpacked, June 24

A thrice-weekly digest, replete with #Cubs, #MLB, and #MiLB factoids gathered from allegedly reputable sources. Happy birthday Christopher Morel!

San Diego Padres v Chicago Cubs Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/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 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:

  • 1894 - The Chicago Colts score five runs in the top of the 9th to take the lead over Baltimore, but the National League leaders respond with three runs in the bottom of the inning to claim an 11-10 win. (2)
  • 1905 - Chicago Cubs rookie right-hander Ed Reulbach wins an 18-inning marathon duel with the Cards’ Jack Taylor, 2-1, in St. Louis. First baseman Frank Chance has 27 putouts and two assists for Chicago. (2)
  • 1910 - In eight innings in the field at Pittsburgh, Cubs 1B Solly Hofman sets a National League record with no putouts. His only assist opportunity is fumbled for an error as Chicago loses, 6-5. (2)
  • 1953 - The Braves sign 17-year-old Joey Jay from Middletown, Connecticut, making him the first Little League player to make it to the major leagues. (2)
  • 1955 - In an 18-7 loss to the Tigers, Senators 18-year-old rookie third baseman Harmon Killebrew hits his first major league home run off Billy Hoeft. “Killer” will finish his 22-year Hall of Fame career with 573 homers. (1,2)
  • 1955 - Already down six, en route to an 8-2 drubbing by Milwaukee, the Dodgers debut Brooklyn-born bonus baby, Sandy Koufax. Working a scoreless but labor-intensive fifth and sixth, Koufax puts Braves on every base—via hit, walk and error (his own)—before recording his first major league out by blowing a 3-2 fastball past Bobby Thomson. Writing more than a decade later, Koufax will recall this undeniably thrilling moment as “probably the worst thing that could have happened to me, getting my first out by striking out a big hitter; because that became my pattern for five years, trying to get out of trouble by throwing harder and harder and harder.” (Conversely, the four-pitch walk which immediately preceded Thomson — issued to one Henry Louis Aaron — will, in almost the same breath, be viewed by Sandy as “probably the smartest thing I did all year. There have been many times since when I wished I had been wild enough to walk Henry Aaron. I’m usually backing up third as I am wishing it.”) (2)
  • 1979 - Rickey Henderson makes his major league debut for Oakland in a 5-1 loss to Texas in the first game of a doubleheader. Henderson has a single and double in four at bats, and steals the first base of his career. (1,2)
  • 2021 - Four Cubs pitchers combine on the seventh no-hitter of the season, one shy of the all-time record, in a 4-0 win over the Dodgers. Zach Davies pitches the first six innings, then Ryan Tepera, Andrew Chafin and Craig Kimbrel add one inning each to complete the feat. The Cubs issue eight walks in the game, with each of the four pitchers allowing at least one. (2)

Cubs birthdays: Jake Stenzel, Jack Katoll, Bill Hanlon, Rollie Hemsley, Ken Reitz, Doug Jones, Christopher Morel*.

Today in world history:

  • 451 - 10th recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet.
  • 1314 - Battle of Bannockburn; Scotland regains independence from England.
  • 1509 - Henry VIII is crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey, London.
  • 1664 - Colony of New Jersey founded when Duke of York grants Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret ownership of land between the Hudson and Delaware Rivers.
  • 1778 - David Rittenhouse observes a total solar eclipse in Philadelphia.
  • 1853 - US President Franklin Pierce signs the Gadsden Purchase, buying 29,670 square-miles (76,800 square km) from Mexico for $10 million (now southern Arizona and New Mexico).
  • 1882 - National League expels umpire Richard Higham from baseball for dishonesty after his links with gambling on games are confirmed.
  • 1922 - Charter NFL club Chicago Staleys renamed Chicago Bears by team founder, owner and head coach George Halas.
  • 2013 - Stanley Cup Final, TD Garden, Boston, MA: Chicago Blackhawks defeat Boston Bruins, 3-2 for 4-2 series victory; Blackhawks’ 5th Championship.

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!