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:
- 1904 - John McGraw and John Brush say they have no intention of playing a post-season series with the American League champions. “The Giants will not play a post season series with the American League champions. Ban Johnson has not been on the level with me personally, and the American League management has been crooked more than once.” says McGraw. “When we clinch the National League pennant, we’ll be champions of the only real major league.” Ban Johnson fires back: “No thoughtful patron of baseball can weigh seriously the wild vaporings of this discredited player who was canned from the American League.” As the New York Highlanders battle for the AL pennant, local pressure mounts, but Brush, still angry over the inter-league peace treaty, and McGraw, who despises Ban Johnson, are adamant. (2)
- 1927 - Mel Ott, 18 years old, hits his first major-league home run, an inside-the-park round-tripper. It is the only inside-the-park homer he will hit of his 511 career homers. (1,2)
- 1930 - Cincinnati hurler Ken Ash throws one pitch in relief against the Chicago Cubs and then is lifted for a pinch hitter. Ash’s pitch to Charlie Grimm results in a triple play, and Ash receives credit for the 6-5 victory, his last in the major leagues. (2)
- 1945 - The Cubs purchase P Hank Borowy from the New York Yankees in an unexpected waiver deal. Borowy, 10-5 with the Yankees, was put on waivers, apparently to solve a roster problem, and was passed over by 15 teams. The Cubs snatch him for $97,500, and he will help the Cubs win the pennant with an 11-2 record, including three wins over the Cardinals down the stretch. (2)
- 1972 - Marking the debut of manager Whitey Lockman, Fergie Jenkins allows one hit in the Cubs’ 4-0 win over the Phillies. Willie Montanez’s 4th-inning double is the only hit. Reliever Jack Aker falters in the nitecap, and the Phils win, 4-1. (2)
- 1977 - The Cubs’ Rick Reuschel tosses his second shutout in a row, beating the Reds, 3-0, on a five-hitter. (2)
- 1979 - The Cubs top the Mets at Shea Stadium, 4-2, behind Dave Kingman’s two home runs. (2)
- 1992 - In his first start at Wrigley Field since his announcement that he’s leaving Chicago, Greg Maddux beats the Pirates, 3-2. In the eighth inning, the Wrigley faithful give the ace pitcher a standing ovation. (2)
- 1998 - Sammy Sosa hits his 248th career homer - and his first grand slam - as the Cubs beat the Diamondbacks, 6-2. Sosa went to bat 4,428 times before drilling the sacks-full homer. His 247 homers without a slam is a major league record: the previous mark was 210 homers by Bob Horner. Sosa also tops the 100 RBI mark with his four ribbies, to back Steve Trachsel’s pitching. (2)
- 2001 - The Cubs get 1B Fred McGriff from the Devil Rays in exchange for P Manny Aybar and a player to be named later. The Cubs’ first try for McGriff on the 16th had been nixed by the slugger who said he did not want to uproot his family. His first game will be a night contest at Wrigley Field on the 29th, a 7-5 Cubs win. (2)
- 2012 - The Cardinals hit a homer in each of their first five innings in beating the Cubs, 9-6. Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, Lance Berkman, Matt Carpenter and Allen Craig all go deep off Travis Wood at Wrigley Field as Wood ties a team record with 5 gopher balls. The last team to have such a performance was the Astros on October 2, 2004. (2)
Cubs birthdays: Joe Tinker HOF, Jack Doscher, George Yantz, Zack Taylor, Jack Hiatt, Larry Biittner*, Bump Wills, Tom Goodwin, Enrique Wilson, Yoervis Medina. Also notable: Biz Mackey HOF, Leo Durocher HOF.
Today in world history:
- 1377 - First example of quarantine in Rugusa (now Dubroknik); city council passes law saying newcomers from plague areas must isolation for 30 days (later 40 days, quaranta in Italian).
- 1586 - Walter Raleigh brings the 1st tobacco to England from Virginia.
- 1794 - Maximilien Robespierre is overthrown in a coup in Paris.
- 1866 - Transatlantic telegraph cable successfully in second attempt comes ashore at Heart’s Content, Newfoundland laid out by Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Great Eastern steamship (1,686 miles long).
- 1890 - Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh shoots himself in Auvers-sur-Oise, dies of injuries 2 days later.
- 1909 - Orville Wright tests 1st US Army airplane, flying 1h12m40s.
- 1940 - Bugs Bunny, Warner Bros. cartoon character created by Tex Avery, Bob Givens (Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series), first debuts in “Wild Hare”.
- (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.
Also please remember that this is supposed to be fun.
Thank you for your cooperation. And thanks for reading!