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:
- 1892 - Benjamin Harrison became the first U.S. President to attend a major league game as he watches the Cincinnati Reds defeat the hometown Washington Senators in 11 innings, 6-5. (2)
- 1920 - The St. Louis Cardinals play their last game at Robison Field (renamed “Cardinal Field” in 1917), their home field since 1893, beating the Chicago Cubs, 5-2. One of new owner Sam Breadon’s first decisions was to agree to a ten-year lease for $20,000 annually, allowing his team to move six blocks to share Sportsman’s Park with the St. Louis Browns, and then using the money from selling the aging ballpark to finance Branch Rickey’s* idea of establishing a farm system by investing in a club affiliation with a minor league team in Houston. (2)
- 1921 - Bill Gatewood of the Detroit Stars pitches the first no-hitter in the history of the Negro National League, defeating the Cuban Stars, 4-0. (2)
- 1939 - Bert and George Bebble and Carl Stotz form the Little League organization in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The three youth teams in the league have uniforms thanks to a $35 donation. (2)
- 1941 - The New York Giants become the first team to wear protective headgear as they used plastic helmets in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Pittsburgh wins the doubleheader, 5-4 and 4-3. In the nightcap, the Pirates’ Rip Sewell sets a National League record by totaling 11 assists for a pitcher. (1,2)
- 1986 - San Diego Padres manager Steve Boros is ejected before the first pitch of the game with the Atlanta Braves when he tries to give umpire Charlie Williams a videotape of a disputed play in the previous night’s 4-2 loss to Atlanta. (2)
- 1996 - For only the second time in major league history and first in the American League, a cycle and a triple play take place in the same game. John Valentin of the Boston Red Sox hits for the cycle, while the Chicago White Sox turn a triple play in Boston’s 7-4 victory. In 1931, outfielder Chuck Klein of the Philadelphia Phillies hit for the cycle in a game in which Philadelphia turned a triple play against the Chicago Cubs. (2)
- 2003 - Insisting the corked bat, designed to put on home run displays during batting practice, was accidentally used in a game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Chicago Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa is suspended for eight games by Major League Baseball. Bob Watson, baseball’s vice president of on-field operations, agrees that the Cubs outfielder’s use of an illegal bat was an “isolated incident,” but one that still deserves a penalty. (2)
Today in world history:
- 1328 - Franciscan theologian William of Ockham [Occam] excommunicated by Pope John XXII.
- 1772 - Haitian explorer Jean Baptiste-Pointe Du Sable settles in Chicago.
- 1813 - US invasion of Canada halted at Stoney Creek (Ontario).
- 1892 - Chicago South Side Elevated Railroad opens (first 3.6 miles).
- 1925 - Walter Chrysler founds automobile manufacturer Chrysler Corporation.
- 1966 - NFL & AFL announce their merger.
- 1968 Senator Robert F. Kennedy dies from his wounds after he was shot the previous night.
- (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!