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Baseball history unpacked, September 2

A thrice-weekly digest, replete with #Cubs, #MLB, and #MiLB factoids, gathered from reputable sources. This one has a bit of everything.

Happy birthday, Jason Hammel
Photo by Jon Durr/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:

  • 1880 - Using three towers illuminating light 100 feet above the playing field, teams from the department stores of Jordan Marsh and R.H. White stage the first night game in history. The Boston Post reports the next day that “A clear, pure, white light was produced, very strong and yet very pleasant to the sight” by the twelve carbon-arc electric lamps. (1,2)
  • 1920 - Shaken by the possible effects of the scandal surrounding baseball, club owners begin a series of meetings to reform the game. Albert D. Lasker, a Chicago advertising man and minority stockholder, of the Cubs, proposes a three-man board of non-baseball men, with the chairman to be paid $25,000 year. Among the names mentioned: Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, former president William Howard Taft, General George Pershing, Senator Hiram Johnson, General Leonard Wood, and ex-treasury secretary William McAdoo. (2)
  • 1929 - The Cubs beat the Cards twice, 11-7 and 12-10, before 81,000 fans at Wrigley Field. A crowd of 38,000 sees the morning game and 43,000 watch the afternoon game. Rogers Hornsby has two home runs and Hack Wilson has one. (2)
  • 1965 - The Cubs beat St. Louis, 5-3, at Wrigley Field, as Ernie Banks hits his 400th home run, a three-run shot off Curt Simmons in the third. Simmons teed up the 400th home run of Willie Mays in 1963. Banks will end the season with 28 home runs and 106 RBI. Ron Santo and Billy Williams will also knock in over 100 runs, the only team with three such sluggers, but the Cubs will finish eighth. (1,2)
  • 1972 - Milt Pappas of the Cubs hurls a no-hit game in beating the Padres, 8-0. Pappas has a perfect game until pinch-hitter Larry Stahl walks with two outs in the ninth inning. Pappas and C Randy Hundley both say of the pitches to Stahl, “They were so close I don’t know how Stahl could take them, but they were balls.” Pappas later comments on the plate umpire: “he had a chance to become famous as the umpire in the twelfth perfect game in history, but he blew it.” Pappas retires former Cub Garry Jestadt to finish the game. (2)
  • 1998 - Sammy Sosa hits home run #56 as the Cubs defeat the Reds, 4-2.
  • 2002 - The Cubs beat the Brewers, 17-4, to salvage a split in their doubleheader after Milwaukee takes the opener by a score of 4-2 on solo homers by Ron Belliard (2), Eric Young and Jose Hernandez. Glendon Rusch wins his eighth straight over the Cubs. Chicago P Kerry Wood ties a major-league record in the second game by fanning four Brewers in the 4th inning. Wood also homers off Andrew Lorraine, one of five gophers he serves up. Another is Sammy Sosa’s 494th homer, moving him ahead of Lou Gehrig on the all-time list. (2)

Cubs birthdays: Al Spalding HOF, Len Rice, Gordon Massa, Jason Hammel*,

Today in world history:

  • 1666 - Great Fire of London begins at 2am in Pudding Lane, 80% of London is destroyed.
  • 1752 - Last Julian calendar day in Great Britain and British colonies including America. To sync to the Gregorian calendar, 11 days are skipped and the next date is Sep 14.
  • 1901 - Theodore Roosevelt advises “Speak softly & carry a big stick”.

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.