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Baseball history unpacked, August 12

A thrice-weekly digest, replete with #Cubs, #MLB, and #MiLB factoids, gathered from reputable sources. This one might be worth keeping around.

Happy birthday, Ian Happ
Photo by Quinn Harris/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:

  • 1876 - Chicago’s versatile Cal McVey has the unusual distinction of both pitching and catching in a 5-0 win over Cincinnati. The win goes to starter Al Spalding‚ his 10th straight win over the Reds. (2)
  • 1887 - At the Mets’ grounds on Staten Island‚ Philadelphia Athletic batter Gus Weyhing hits an apparent triple that RF Ed Hogan kicks into the stage of the play “The Fall of Babylon.” Since the ground rules at the park call for a double on hits into the theatrical set‚ the umpire orders Weyhing back to second base. After a futile argument‚ the Athletics leave the field and forfeit the game‚ 9-7. (1,2)
  • 1912 - Chicago Cubs owner Charles Murphy hints that the Cards and other clubs go easy against John McGraw’s Giants. Later Phils owner Horace Fogel‚ a former Giants manager whose ownership of the Phils is seen as a front for Murphy and financial backer Charles Raft of Cincinnati, OH, echoes the accusation and charges National League umpires with favoring the Giants. It will lead to Fogel’s being expelled from the NL. (2)
  • 1930 - With 40‚000 fans on hand at Wrigley FieldDazzy Vance gives up 14 hits and walks four but strands 16 Cubs runners. With the game tied‚ 2-2‚ in the 11th Riggs Stephenson bounces a single to drive in the winning run. Brooklyn loads the bases in both the ninth and 10th but comes up dry; in the eighth Brooklyn adds up a triple by Babe Herman‚ a walk to Del Bissonette‚ and an Al Lopez single for zero runs. (2)
  • 1934 - In St. Louis, the Cubs sweep the Deans‚ winning 7-2 against Paul‚ and 6-4 over Dizzy. Big Jim Weaver wins the opener and Pat Malone is the victor against Diz. (2)
  • 1934 - Making a farewell appearance in Boston, Babe Ruth draws a record 46,766 fans, with an estimated 20,000 turned away, at Fenway Park, the place where he began his career as a pitcher twenty years earlier. Ruth leaves the field to standing cheers in the eighth inning of the second game of the doubleheader.
  • 1936 - The largest crowd ever to watch a baseball game turns out for the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, Germany, with between 90,000 and 125,000 fans watching the US amateurs lose, 6-5, to the world amateurs.
  • 1940 - Ernest Lawrence Thayer, author of “Casey at the Bat” dies in Santa Barbara, CA at age 77. (2)
  • 1956 - At Wrigley FieldStan Musial doubles in the sixth for his 1‚071st extra-base hit‚ tying Mel Ott for the National League record‚ but his Cards lose‚ 6-2. Bob Rush is the winner. In the nightcap‚ Herm Wehmeier and Jim Davis each throw nine scoreless innings before darkness stops the game. (2)
  • 1970 - Judge Irving Ben Cooper rules against Curt Flood in his antitrust suit. Cooper says “Decisions of the Supreme Court are not lightly overruled... We find no general or widespread disregard of the extremely important position the player occupies... Clearly the preponderance of credible proof does not favor elimination of the reserve clause.” However the judge says changes in the reserve clause should be made through negotiation, but denies Flood damages. Flood will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, but in vain. (1,2)
  • 1994 - Major League Baseball players go on strike. For the first time in 90 years, the World Series will not be held. Matt Williams’ assault on the home run record held by Roger Maris is halted. (2)
  • 2009 - In his first game for the Philadelphia Phillies, Pedro Martinez gives up three runs in five innings on his way to a 12-5 win over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Jimmy Rollins and Raul Ibanez both hit three-run homers in the fourth in support of Martinez’s pitching. Phillies OF Shane Victorino is hit with a cup of beer thrown from the bleachers while making a catch in the fifth inning. He files a police complaint the next day, and the guilty fan is identified and charged with battery and illegal conduct in a sports facility. Cubs management also apologizes to Victorino for the incident. (2)

Cubs birthdays: Don Hurst, Charlie Gassaway, Bob Buhl, Ellis Burton, Dave Pavlas, Matt Clement, Ian Happ*. Also notable: Christy Mathewson HOF, Ray Schalk HOF.

Today in world history:

  • 1492 - Christopher Columbus arrives in the Canary Islands on his first voyage to the New World.
  • 1658 - 1st American police force forms (New Amsterdam).
  • 1833 - The town of Chicago is incorporated (population 350).
  • 1851 - American inventor Isaac Singer patents the sewing machine.
  • 1869 - Self-proclaimed Emperor Joshua Abraham Norton of the USA issues edict abolishing the Democratic and Republican parties.
  • 1908 - Henry Ford’s company builds the first Model T car.
  • 1930 - Clarence Birdseye is granted a patent for method for quick freezing food (patent US 1773079 A).
  • 1981 - IBM introduces its first Personal Computer (PC & PC-DOS version 1.0).

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!