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Baseball history unpacked, August 31

A thrice-weekly digest, replete with #Cubs, #MLB, and #MiLB factoids, gathered from reputable sources. Steve Trachsel was briefly in the news.

Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via 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:

Cubs birthdays: Duke Farrell, Ray Mack, Cleo James, Ramon Webster, Boots Day. Also notable: Eddie Plank HOF, Ray Dandridge HOF, Frank Robinson HOF.

Today in world history:

  • 1422 - Henry VI becomes King of England at the age of 9 months.
  • 1888 - The body of Jack the Ripper’s first victim, Mary Ann Nichols, is found in Whitechapel in London’s East End.
  • 1889 - Second International Electrical Congress adopts the joule as unit of energy (after James Prescott Joule), the watt as unit of power (after James Watt) and the quadrant as unit of electrical inductance (later renamed henry).
  • 1897 - Thomas Edison patents the Kinetoscope [kinetographic camera], a device which produces moving pictures.
  • 1920 - Detroit radio station 8MK (now WWJ, 950AM) is 1st to broadcast a news program on the air.
  • 1955 - 1st sun-powered automobile demonstrated (Chicago, Illinois).
  • 1987 - The Great Potato Incident: Minor league Williamsport Bills catcher Dave Bresnahan attempts to lure an opposing baserunner off third base using a potato carved to look like a baseball. Umpire calls runner safe, and the catcher is fined $50 and released by the team.
  • 1997 Diana, Princess of Wales, dies in a car crash in a road tunnel in Paris.

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