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Baseball history unpacked, August 3

A thrice-weekly digest, replete with #Cubs, #MLB, and #MiLB factoids gathered from allegedly reputable sources. This one played only a year in the Majors.

Roosevelt Brown swings
Happy birthday, Roosevelt Brown!
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/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:

  • 1888 - Kansas City Cowboys rookie Billy Hamilton, recently purchased from Worcester, steals his first base in the major leagues. Before returning to the minors in 1902, Sliding Billy will amass 912 stolen bases, a record broken by Lou Brock in 1979. (1)
  • 1906 - Tom Hughes of the Washington Nationals and Fred Glade of the St. Louis Browns enter the 10th inning with a scoreless tie. Hughes decides he will have to do it on his own and goes long for a 1-0 victory. He is the first pitcher to win a 1-0 extra-inning game with his own home run. (1,2)
  • 1911 - Against the Cubs, visiting Brooklyn gets three homers in the fifth inning as Eddie Zimmerman, Tex Erwin, and Zack Wheat connect, not consecutively, in the 5-3 win. Zim’s and Erwin’s come against Lurid Lew Richie, while Fred Toney serves up Wheat. The trio will total six homers on the year. (2)
  • 1929 - The Cubs complain about the ragged shirt sleeve on Robin Dazzy Vance’s pitching arm, an age-old trick to distract a batter. A rule will be passed enforcing neater dressing habits by pitchers. For the second day in a row, Vance has not much more than a sleeve as the Cubs pound Brooklyn, 12-2, behind Hal Carlson. (2)
  • 1931 - At Wrigley Field, Bob Smith shuts down the Reds, 8-0, to hand Cincinnati its fourth straight shutout. (2)
  • 1948 - Cleveland’s Satchel Paige made his first major league start and went seven innings to lead the Indians to a 5-3 victory over the Washington Senators.
  • 1959 - For the first time in major league history a second All-Star Game is played in the same season. The American League posts a 5-3 victory at the Los Angeles Coliseum as the White Sox’s Nellie Fox singles in the decisive run. (1,2)
  • 1972 - Cubs pitcher Bill Hands allows one hit, by Ken Singleton, in beating the Expos, 3-0, in the nitecap. The Cubs lose the opener, 2-1, as Jack Aker absorbs his 3rd loss in his last 5 save opportunities. (2)
  • 1987 - The Twins’ Joe Niekro is caught with a file on the mound and is ejected during the fourth inning of Minnesota’s 11-3 win over California. He will be suspended for 10 games by American League president Bobby Brown, who doesn’t buy Niekro’s story that he had been filing his nails on the bench and stuck the file in his back pocket when the inning started. (1,2)
  • 1995 - The Senate Judiciary Committee sends a bill calling for the partial repeal of baseball’s antitrust exemption to the full Senate. The vote is just 9-8. (2)
  • 1999 - The Major League Umpires Association files unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board to block the American League and National League from using minor league replacements in the wake of the union’s mass resignation strategy. (2)
  • 2017 - A pair of ninth-inning homers off closer Wade Davis lead the Diamondbacks to a 10-8 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Paul Goldschmidt connects for his third long ball of the game with one out, and J.D. Martinez follows with another dinger. Goldschmidt has six RBI on the day, and his performance is almost matched by Cubs C Willson Contreras, who also drives in 6, but with only two home runs. The back-and-forth game starts 90 minutes late because of rain and is interrupted twice, for 35 minutes in the 2nd and another 30 minutes in the 9th. (2)

Cubs birthdays: Silver Flint, Al Kaiser, Jim Hegan, Rod Beck, Roosevelt Brown*, Felix Sanchez. Also notable: Harry Heilmann HOF.

Today in world history:

  • 1492 - Christopher Columbus sets sail on his first voyage with three ships, Santa María, Pinta and Niña from Palos de la Frontera, Spain for the “Indies”.
  • 1907 - Emperor Wilhelm (Germany) meets with Tsar Nicholas (Russia) to discuss Germany’s plan to build a railroad to Baghdad; the discussion helps move Russia towards Britain and eventually the Triple Alliance.
  • 1921 - MLB Commissioner Kenesaw Landis hands out life bans to eight Chicago White Sox players accused in Black Sox scandal despite their acquittal by a Chicago jury.
  • 1977 - Radio Shack introduces the TRS-80 personal computer, within weeks thousands were ordered.

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!