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Baseball history unpacked, September 26

A thrice-weekly digest, replete with #Cubs, #MLB, and #MiLB factoids, gathered from reputable sources. Cubs clinch the East.

Wild Thing — the original version
Photo by: 1991 SPX/Diamond Images 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:

  • 1889 - After Buck Ewing hurts his thumb, Giants substitute catcher Willard Brown makes a critical throwing error as New York loses to Chicago, 4-3. New York is now tied with Boston for the National League lead. (2)
  • 1908 - Ed Reulbach pitches two shutouts on the same day, whitewashing Brooklyn, 5-0, on a five-hitter and 3-0 on a three-hitter. The entire doubleheader is played in less than three hours. Big Ed allows five hits in the a.m. game, and is even stingier in the afternoon, yielding three hits and a walk. Kaiser Wilhelm and Jim Pastorius are the losing pitchers. Reulbach is the only pitcher in major league history to have performed this particular feat. (1,2)
  • 1912 - Trailing 9-0 going into the ninth inning at Chicago, the Reds stage a terrific comeback against Jimmy Lavender. Lavender gives up five runs and is lifted with the bases loaded. Reliever Fred Toney then walks three straight before Larry Cheney is brought in. The Reds take an unlikely 10-9 lead as Cheney walks two straight. Reds pitcher Ralph Works catches the fever walking one Cub and hitting another. Reliever Rube Benton quickly relieves and follows suit, walking three batters in a row to give the Cubs the 11-10 decision. (2)
  • 1927 - The Cubs play their last home date and report a season’s attendance of 1,190,000, the first time the team goes over a million. (2)
  • 1959 - The Cubs put the pennant race in a tie by blasting the Dodgers, 12-2, at Wrigley Field. The Cubs tally 18 hits in chasing Johnny Podres. (2)
  • 1962 - The Cubs lose their 101st, but the good news is that only 903 fans are on hand to see it. The Phils win, 5-3, their 18th win in 23 games. The Phils will win tomorrow, 8-0, behind Dennis Bennett, and only 607 fans will see that one. (2)
  • 1971 - Ernie Banks gets his 2,583rd hit, a 1st-inning single off the Phils’ Ken Reynolds, but the Cubs lose, 5-1. It is the last hit of Banks’s 19-year major league career. (2)
  • 1989 - The Cubs become the first team to clinch a division title this season, wrapping up the National League East with a 3-2 win over the Expos. Mitch Williams* strikes out Mike Fitzgerald to win the game. (2)
  • 2016 - The Cubs win their 100th game of the season by defeating the Pirates, 12-2. Javier Báez hits a grand slam and drives in six runs to lead the attack. It is the first 100-win season for the Cubbies since 1935. (2)

Cubs birthdays: Bert Humphries, Clarence Maddern, Bobby Shantz, Al Lary, Steve Buechele, Dave Martinez.

Today in world history:

  • 1580 - Francis Drake completes circumnavigation of the world, sailing into Plymouth aboard the Golden Hind.
  • 1887 - Emile Berliner patents the Gramophone.
  • 1914 - Federal Trade Commission formed to regulate interstate commerce.

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.