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Baseball history unpacked, July 4

A thrice-weekly digest, replete with #Cubs, #MLB, and #MiLB factoids gathered from allegedly reputable sources. Ethan Roberts, today’s birthday boy, is on the IL.

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:

  • 1904 - In Pittsburgh, the Cubs and Pirates celebrate the holiday by racking up record nine triples in the afternoon end of a doubleheader. Pittsburgh has six of the triples and wins, 11-6. Chicago wins the morning game, 7-2. (2)
  • 1905 - Bugs Raymond of the Charleston Sea Gulls (South Atlantic League), pitches the morning and afternoon games of a doubleheader, throwing a no-hitter in each game. (2)
  • 1906 - The visiting Cubs and Pirates deal aces today with Chicago coming out on top in both games. Three Finger Brown beats Lefty Leifield, 1-0, in the lidlifter with both pitchers allowing just one hit. It is just the second double one-hitter in history, the first occurring on August 20, 1886. Lefty collects the only Buc shot while holding Chicago hitless until Jimmy Slagle’s safety in the 9th inning. Slagle scores on a sacrifice, error, and ground out. Brown will toss nine shutouts this year. In the second game, Carl Lundgren tosses another 1-0 shutout for Chicago, beating Vic Willis. When Brown and Leifield face off on September 6th, Brown will again allow just one hit. (2)
  • 1908 - In Pittsburgh, an A.M.-P.M. doubleheader with the Cubs draws 50,000 fans. Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown wins the morning game, 2-0, for his fourth straight shutout. Ed Reulbach takes the afternoon affair, 9-3. The Cubs and Bucs play five games in three days with the Cubs winning three: Brown cops two, tossing two shutouts - a six-hitter and a two-hitter. (2)
  • 1934 - When Dodgers manager Casey Stengel comes out to the mound to remove P Boom-Boom Beck from the game in Philadelphia’s Baker Bowl, the frustrated Beck turns and fires the ball at the tin wall in right field. Dodgers OF Hack Wilson, not paying attention to the happenings, hears the ball, hurries to retrieve it, and fires a strike to second base to prevent the imaginary runner from advancing. (2)
  • 1939 - It’s Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day at Yankee Stadium and the “Iron Horse”’s uniform number 4 will be the first ever to be retired. After emcee Sid Mercer informs the sell-out crowd the man of the hour is too moved to speak, Gehrig changes his mind when Skipper Joe McCarthy encourages him, and delivers the keynote address describing himself as “the luckiest man on the face of the earth”. (1,2)
  • 1966 - Ron Santo sets a modern-day Cubs record when he hits in his 28th straight game, as the Cubs lose the opener to the Pirates, 7-5. The Cubs win the nightcap 6-4, but Santo is held hitless. In between the first and second game of the streak, the opener of a twinbill on June 1st, Santo had no official at-bats. He received four walks and was hit by a pitch. The day before, however, he was 1 for 3, which counts as the actual start of the streak. (2)
  • 1983 - Dave Righetti pitches the Yankees’ first no-hitter since Don Larsen’s perfect game in the 1956 World Series, handcuffing the Red Sox, 4-0, before a holiday crowd of 41,077 at Yankee Stadium. It’s the first no-hitter by a Yankee lefty since George Mogridge in 1917. (1,2)
  • 1988 - National League umpire Lee Weyer, 51, dies of a heart attack after working the Cubs’ 3-2 win over San Francisco. (2)
  • 2004 - The selection of Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr. and Sammy Sosa as starters in the NL All-Stars’ line-up marks the first time in history three players with 500 career home runs have appeared on the same team. The trio will form the starting outfield in the 75th All-Star Game in Houston’s Minute Maid Park. (2)

Cubs birthdays: Bill Sullivan, Chuck Tanner, Bill Tremel, Wayne Nordhagen, Dan Larson, Johnny Abrego, Matt Dermody, Ethan Roberts*. Also notable: Mickey Welch HOF.

Today in world history:

  • 1054 - Brightest known supernova SN 1054 (creates the Crab Nebula) 1st reported by Chinese astronomers.
  • 1634 - The city of Trois-Rivières is founded in New France, later to become the Canadian province of Quebec.
  • 1776 - According to popular legend the Liberty Bell rings for the Second Continental Congress.
  • 1803 - The Louisiana Purchase is announced to the American people by President Thomas Jefferson.
  • 1826 - Past presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both die on the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, President John Quincy Adams calls “visible and palpable remarks of Divine Favor”.
  • 1862 Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) creates Alice in Wonderland for Alice Liddell on a family boat trip on the river Isis (Thames) in Oxford.
  • 1881 - Booker T. Washington establishes Tuskegee Institute (Alabama).
  • 1884 - Statue of Liberty presented to US in Paris.
  • 1934 - Hungarian physicist Leo Szilard patents the chain-reaction design for the atomic bomb.

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. 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!