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Baseball history unpacked, June 3

A thrice-weekly digest, replete with #Cubs, #MLB, and #MiLB factoids gathered from allegedly reputable sources. This one struck out in the clutch.

Mighty Casey Postage Stamp
Mighty Casey
Photo by Blank Archives/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:

  • 1888 - The poem Casey at the Bat is first printed in the San Francisco Examiner under the pen name “Phin”. Its author will later be revealed to be Ernest Lawrence Thayer.*
  • 1911 - Chicago Cubs slugger Frank Schulte hits a grand slam off Rube Marquard to beat the New York Giants, 8-4. Schulte will slam four this season, a record tied by Babe Ruth in 1919 and topped by Ernie Banks’ five in 1955.
  • 1918 - Dutch Leonard of the Boston Red Sox pitches his second career no-hitter, beating the Detroit Tigers, 5-0.
  • 1932 - Lou Gehrig hits four consecutive home runs and narrowly misses a fifth, and Tony Lazzeri hits for the cycle as the Yankees beat the Philadelphia Athletics, 20-13. The Yankees set a major league record for total bases with 50 and both teams set a still-standing record for extra bases with 41. (1,2)
  • 1937 - Negro Leagues star and Baseball Hall-of-Famer Josh Gibson is credited with a drive that hits just two feet below the rim of Yankee Stadium, about 580 feet from home plate. It is estimated that the ball would have traveled nearly 700 feet if unimpeded. (1) This is disputed by many. (3)
  • 1953 - Congress cites the research of New York City librarian Robert Henderson in proving that Alexander Cartwright founded baseball and not Abner Doubleday. His 1947 book Bat, Ball and Bishop documents Cartwright’s contributions to the origins of the game of baseball. (1,2)
  • 1971 - Cubs southpaw Ken Holtzman tosses the second no-hitter of his career, victimizing the Reds 1-0. Holtzman scores the only run, in the third inning. (1,2)
  • 1989 - Nolan Ryan pitches his second one-hitter this season and 11th overall, allowing only a first-inning single to Harold Reynolds in a 6-1 win over Seattle. Ryan also strikes out 11 to tie Don Sutton’s major league record of 21 seasons with at least 100 strikeouts. (2)
  • 2017 - Edinson Volquez of the Marlins throws the first no-hitter of the year, defeating the Diamondbacks, 3-0. He allows a pair of walks, but both baserunners are erased on double plays, so he faces the minimum 27 batters in his masterpiece. He almost leaves the game after one batter, after he collides with Rey Fuentes at first base and turns his ankle, but he stays in and pitches the game of his life. (2)
  • 2020 - Plans to start the MLB season in early July are deadlocked, as the owners reject the Players’ Association counter-offer of a 114-game schedule extending into November. They had earlier proposed an 82-game season, with players taking on additional salary cuts. The owners’ objections are two-fold: they claim that they will lose money with every game played, and they fear that a second deadly wave of the pandemic will hit North America in the fall, just as the more lucrative postseason games are to be played. (2)

Cubs birthdays: John Dobbs, Robert Machado, Jose Molina, Steve Smyth.

Today in world history:

  • 1098 - After 5-month siege during the First Crusade, the Crusaders seize Antioch.
  • 1539 - Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto claims Florida for Spain.
  • 1621 -Dutch West India Company (WIC) receives charter for The West Indies (The Americas, Caribbean and West Africa).
  • 1851 - 1st baseball uniforms worn when the NY Knickerbockers wear a uniform of straw hats, white shirts and blue long trousers.
  • 1969 - Last episode of Star Trek airs on NBC (Turnabout Intruder). Watch it here.

Common sources:

*pictured.

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!