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:
- 1877 - After St. Louis C John Clapp has his cheek smashed by a foul tip‚ replacement Mike Dorgan goes behind the plate wearing a mask. Though used earlier in the International Association‚ this is perhaps the first use of a catcher’s mask in an official National League game. (1,2)
- 1905 - In Chicago‚ the Cubs notch six hits and three runs off Dummy Taylor‚ but the Giants still lead 4-3 in the bottom of the fourth‚ when John McGraw lifts the pitcher for Christy Mathewson. Matty shuts out Chicago over the last 5+ innings‚ but the win goes to Taylor. By today’s standards the win would go to Mathewson‚ since Taylor did not last through the first five innings. (2)
- 1906 - National League President Harry Pulliam upholds the forfeit to the Cubs of yesterday’s Giants game stating: “I uphold the action of the umpires absolutely‚ and if I am not sustained by the NL Board of Directors I will not only resign my position as President of the NL‚ but I will quit professional baseball forever.” Giants owner John Brush then allows Jim Johnstone to officiate‚ and the Cubs win, 3-2, behind Three Fingers Brown and Ed Reulbach. At the month’s end‚ the Cubs will have a 15-game lead. (2)
- 1941 - Cubs rookie Paul Erickson wins his first major league game‚ pitching a nifty one-hitter to beat the Pirates’ Johnny Lanning‚ 1-0. The Cubs collect 10 hits while Bob Elliott’s hit in the seventh is the lone Buc shot. (2)
- 1947 - At Wrigley Field‚ Bill Nicholson breaks up a pitching duel between Johnny Schmitz and Ewell Blackwell with an 11th-inning solo homer. The Cubs whip the Reds‚ 2-1. Nicholson also scores the Cubs’ first run‚ an unearned tally. Chicago helps Schmitz out with a 7th-inning triple play when Lennie Merullo snags a liner‚ steps on second base‚ and fires to Eddie Waitkus. (2)
- 1963 - In the fifth inning‚ Frank Howard and Moose Skowron pinch-hit back-to-back home runs for the Dodgers‚ only the second time this has ever occurred in the National League. Cub pitchers Bob Buhl and Don Elston are the victims. But the Cubs hold on to win, 5-4, at Wrigley Field. (2)
- 1968 - The Cubs trip the Braves‚ 4-0‚ behind Bill Hands‚ with relief help from Phil Regan. Umpire Chris Pelekoudas goes to the mound to inspect the cap and glove of the Cubs’ Regan. When the game continues, Pelekoudas accuses Regan of three illegal pitches, nullifying a fly out‚ a strikeout‚ and changing a strike to a ball. Wrigley fans toss garbage on the field. Leo Durocher‚ Randy Hundley‚ and Al Spangler get tossed as well. National League president Warren Giles, after a special hearing‚ says umps should have better evidence before calling pitches illegal. (2)
- 1984 - The Cubs tighten their grip on first place in the NL East with a 7-6 win over the Mets at Wrigley Field‚ completing a four-game series sweep. Keith Moreland leads the way with three hits and four RBI. Hubie Brooks is 4 for 4 with four runs for New York. Davey Johnson gets tossed in the seventh after Bob Dernier gets hit by a pitch‚ a continuation of yesterday’s beanballing. Cubs manager Jim Frey follows Johnson in the ninth when Lee Smith throws behind George Foster. (2)
- 1988 - 91-year-old Chicago Cubs fan Harry Grossman throws a switch lighting Wrigley Field for its first-ever night game. Heavy thuderstorms wipe out the Cubs-Phillies game after three innings. The first night game in Wrigley Field’s 74-year history was postponed with the Chicago Cubs leading the Philadelphia Phillies 3-1 after heavy rains started in the bottom of the fourth inning. Philadelphia’s Phil Bradley led off the game with a home run, but all numbers were wiped out by the rain. The real first official night game will be recorded tomorrow night. (1,2)
- 2000 - The Dodgers defeat the Cubs‚ 7-5‚ hitting fout homers (Kevin Elster‚ Darren Dreifort‚ Gary Sheffield and Shawn Green) in the fourth inning off Chicago P Phil Norton‚ making his major league debut. Pitcher Dreifort hits two homers in the contest for Los Angeles‚ becoming the first pitcher to do so since 1990. Norton also sets a record becoming the first Cub pitcher in the team’s 124-year history to surrender four homers in an inning. (2)
Today in world history:
- 1508 - Spaniard Juan Ponce de León founds Caparra, the first European settlement in Puerto Rico.
- 1609 - Venetian senate examines Galileo Galilei’s telescope.
- 1786 - US Congress unanimously chooses the dollar as the monetary unit for the United States of America.
- 1882 - Snow falls on Lake Michigan.
- 1976 - Chicago White Sox suit up in shorts.
- (1) — Today in Baseball History.
- (2) — Baseball Reference.
- (3) — Society for American Baseball Research.
- (4) — Baseball Hall of Fame.
- (5) — This Day in Chicago Cubs history.
- For world history.
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!