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Baseball history unpacked, July 29

A thrice-weekly digest, replete with #Cubs, #MLB, and #MiLB factoids gathered from allegedly reputable sources. The Red Baron steals home, and other special events.

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:

  • 1909 - National League president Harry Pulliam, despondent over his inability to handle the problems and controversies of the league, dies after shooting himself in his room at the New York Athletic Club yesterday. Pulliam had been suffering from a nervous breakdown. (1,2)
  • 1912 - For the first time, a National League team loses a game because of the rule that holds runners in place when a batted ball hits an umpire. A double by the Giants’ Buck Herzog drives in two runs, but the ball hits umpire Garner Bush, and the runs do not count. (2)
  • 1951 - Against the Phillies, Cubs player-manager Phil Cavarretta earns his money by driving home three runs in a first-game win, 5-4, snapping the Cubs’ 10-game home losing streak. His triple in the 6th off Robin Roberts ends the Cubs’ scoreless inning skein of 31 innings, and the consecutive scoreless innings by Phils pitchers at 41. Cavarretta takes the bench in the second game but inserts himself as a pinch-hitter in the seventh when Roberts relieves, and hits a grand slam home run as the Cubs sweep, winning the nightcap, 8-6. The nitecap loss goes to Bubba Church, who put two runners on before giving way to Roberts. It is Church’s first and only career loss to Chicago after nine straight wins. (2)
  • 1970 - The Cubs purchase 1B/OF Joe Pepitone from the Astros. Pepitone will drive in 31 runs in his first 31 games for his new team. (2)
  • 1988 - In the Cubs’ 8-3 win over Kevin Gross and the host Phillies, Rick Sutcliffe swipes home, the first pitcher since Pascual Perez in 1984 to steal home. It comes on the front end of a double steal with Mitch Webster. Sutcliffe is the first Cubs pitcher to steal home since Hippo Vaughn in 1919.
  • 2014 - The Cubs win the longest game in team history, 4-3, as the 16 innings take six hours and 27 minutes to complete, 17 minutes longer than a 21-inning game played over two days in 1982; it’s also the record for a Rockies game. Catcher John Baker is pressed into mound duty in the 16th and earns the win when he scores the winning run after leading the bottom of the inning with a walk and is driven home on Starlin Castro’s sacrifice fly. (2)

Cubs birthdays: Sam Dungan, Earl Moore, Frank Martin, Luther Roy, Roy Henshaw, Ken Kravec, Eric Jokisch, Tyson Miller*.

Today in world history:

  • 1221 - Emperor Go-Horikawa, aged only 10 years old, ascends to the Chrysanthemum Throne of Japan.
  • 1836 - Inauguration of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
  • 1907 - Sir Robert Baden-Powell forms Boy Scouts in England.
  • 1933 - Police shootout with Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow’s gang in Iowa, leaves one member, Clyde’s brother Buck Barrow dead and one captured. Bonnie and Clyde escape.
  • 1956 - Jacques Cousteau’s Calypso anchors in 7,500 m of water (record).

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!