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Baseball history unpacked, August 24

A thrice-weekly digest, replete with #Cubs, #MLB, and #MiLB factoids, gathered from reputable sources. Kid K started young.

Kerry Wood
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:

  • 1903 - The Cubs split with the Giants at the Polo Grounds, beating Joe McGinnity, 7-3, in the opener. Iron Joe is not helped by eight Giant errors, including five by SS Charlie Babb. The nitecap is called after Chicago’s at-bats in the seventh with the score 8-1. Christy Mathewson picks up the victory for New York over Jock Menefee. (2)
  • 1904 - In Chicago, Christy Mathewson blanks the Cubs on three hits and the Giants defeat Buttons Briggs, 3-0. The second game is called after 10 innings with the score 2-2. Chicago fans show their feelings towards the Giants by tossing bottles onto the field. RF George Browne is hit on the leg and is almost hit in the head while chasing a fly ball. John McGraw tells ump Bob Emslie that he will not allow his team to continue play until all the broken glass is cleared, and by the time that occurs it is too dark to continue play. (2)
  • 1951 - In another of Bill Veeck’s legendary public relations stunts, “Fans Managers’ Night,” the Browns defeat the Athletics, 5-3. The Browns’ coaches hold up placards for 1115 fans, who vote “yes” or “no” on the options given them. Manager Zack Taylor sits in a box behind the dugout with two fans who monitor the voting. Adding to the festivities is Max Patkin, the clown prince of baseball, who coaches at first base for several innings. Sherm Lollar voted in to start behind the plate instead of Matt Batts, has three hits including a homer, and Hank Arft, also voted in, knocks home two. Gus Zernial’s 28th home run accounts for all the A’s runs. When the stunt was announced on August 15, A’s GM Art Ehlers bitterly denounced it as “farcical.” (1,2)
  • 1971 - Ernie Banks hits the final home run of his career as the Cubs beat the Reds, 5-4. Mr. Cub’s 512th home run comes in the first inning off Jim McGlothlin. (2)
  • 1983 - Cubs P Chuck Rainey is one out away from a no-hitter when the Reds’ Eddie Milner singles to center on the first pitch. Rainey settles for a 3-0 one-hitter, his first complete game of the season. For Milner, this is the third of five instances in which he will collect his team’s only hit in a game, a major league mark he’ll share with Cesar Tovar. (2)
  • 1989 - After weeks of legal wrangling, Commissioner Bart Giamatti permanently bans Pete Rose from baseball for his alleged gambling on major league games. Although the five-page document signed by both parties includes no formal findings, Giamatti says that he considers Rose’s acceptance of the ban to be a no-contest plea to the charges. Coach Tommy Helms is named Rose’s interim replacement as Cincinnati manager. (1,2)
  • 1996 - Cubs minor leaguer Kerry Wood* of Daytona in the Florida State League combines on his second no-hitter, a 3-0 win over Vero Beach. Wood goes eight innings; he pitched seven innings of no-hit ball on July 28th against Tampa. (2)

Cubs birthdays: Lou Hardie, Frank Quinn, Art Williams, Jimmy Cooney, Frank Secory, Butch Benton, Dean Wilkins, Kurt Miller. Also notable: Harry Hooper HOF, Cal Ripken Jr. HOF.

Today in world history:

  • 410 - Rome overrun by Visigoths under Alaric I for the first time in nearly 800 years, seen as the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
  • 1456 - The printing of the Gutenberg Bible is completed.
  • 1891 - Thomas Edison patents motion picture camera.
  • 1960 -127°F (-88°C), Vostok, Antarctica (world record).
  • 1981 Mark David Chapman is sentenced to 20 yrs to life for John Lennon’s murder.

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!