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Baseball history unpacked, July 13

A thrice-weekly digest, replete with #Cubs, #MLB, and #MiLB factoids gathered from allegedly reputable sources. This one went west and became something unexpected.

Houston Astros v Chicago Cubs Photo by Jonathan Daniel/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:

  • 1896 - Ed Delahanty hits four home runs, but it’s not enough as the Phillies lose to the Chicago Colts, 9-8. “Big Ed” is the second man to hit four homers in one game in the National League, after Bobby Lowe two years earlier. It will be another 90 years until another man hits four long balls in defeat, when Bob Horner does it for the Atlanta Braves on July 6, 1986. (2)
  • 1919 - Submarine P Carl Mays quits the mound after two innings at Chicago, blaming his teammates for lack of support afield. American League president Ban Johnson suspends Mays indefinitely and orders umpires not to let him pitch. In defiance of Johnson’s order that no action be taken until Mays is returned to good standing, Boston owner Harry Frazee will trade Mays to the Yankees for pitchers Bob McGraw and Allen Russell and $40,000. The Yankees then get a court order restraining Johnson from interfering, further eroding Johnson’s authority and standing, and the American League directors reinstate Mays. In retaliation, on October 29th the National Commission will refuse to recognize the Yankees’ third-place finish and will withhold the players’ share of the World Series pool. New York’s owners will pay out of their own pockets, and Johnson will never recover his authority. (2)
  • 1934 - In front of 20,000 fans during the 3rd inning at Navin Field in Detroit, Babe Ruth wallops a Tommy Bridges 3-2 pitch far over the right field wall for his 700th career home run. The 4-2 victory over the Tigers puts the Bronx Bombers back into first place, but Lou Gehrig is helped off the field in the 1st inning with a severe bout of lumbago. (1,2)
  • 1936 - Bill Lee wins a 1-0 duel from Carl Hubbell, as the Cubs move into first place. It is the last game the Giant ace will lose this year; he will win his final 16 decisions. (2)
  • 1962 - Cubs rookie Cal Koonce (8-2) stops the Reds on one hit, a single by Don Blasingame, to win, 1-0. It is the first of four times that the Dixie Blazer will collect the only hit in a game. The Cubs’ only run is unearned off Bob Purkey (14-3). (2)
  • 1977 - At Shea Stadium, the Cubs’ game is suspended due to a major black-out which darkens New York City. The Mets players amuse the crowd by performing antics in front of the headlights of cars which they drive onto the field. (2)
  • 2017 - As play is about to resume following the All-Star break, the two Chicago teams pull off a rare trade, with the White Sox sending P José Quintana to the Cubs in return for four prospects: P Dylan Cease, OF Eloy Jimenez and IFs Matt Rose and Bryant Flete. (2)

Cubs birthdays: George Bradley, John O’Brien, Gene Packard, Clarence Blair, Frank Hiller, Jack Aker, Don Bryant, Bill Caudill, DJ LeMahieu*, Casey Sadler. Also notable: Stan Coveleski HOF.

Today in world history:

  • 1568 - Dean of St. Paul’s London, Alexander Nowell perfects a way to bottle beer.
  • 1772 - Captain James Cook begins 2nd voyage aboard the Resolution to the South Seas to search for Terra Australis (Southern continent).
  • 1835 - Swedish-American inventor John Ericsson files for a patent for his screw propeller design.
  • 1865 - Horace Greeley, founder and editor of the “New-York Tribune” reputedly advises his readers to “Go west young man”.

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.

Also please remember that this is supposed to be fun.

Thank you for your cooperation. And thanks for reading!