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Baseball history unpacked, September 5

A thrice-weekly digest, replete with #Cubs, #MLB, and #MiLB factoids, gathered from reputable sources. The Cubs play at Comiskey, and other stories.

Happy birthday, Tyler Colvin.
Scott Strazzante/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:

  • 1918 - At Comiskey Park, Babe Ruth of the Red Sox six-hits the Cubs in the opening game of the World Series, 1-0. The Fall Classic game, which starts almost a month earlier than usual due to World War I, is played at the White Sox home field rather than Weeghman Park (to be renamed Wrigley Field in 1926) due to the larger seating capacity. During the 7th-inning stretch, a military band plays “The Star Spangled Banner” and Fred Thomas, on leave from the Navy, snaps to attention. (1,2)
  • 1931 - In Cincinnati, the Cubs lose, 4-3, in 10 innings. Hack Wilson, in the Cubs doghouse for drinking and not hitting, is left in the bullpen to warm up pitchers when manager Rogers Hornsby, short of outfielders, inserts pitcher Bud Teachout in LF. On the train back to Chicago that night, Wilson starts arguing with two writers. When Pat Malone wanders by, he joins in the argument and, with his encouragement, Wilson punches out both writers. Malone will be fined $500 for his actions while club president Bill L. Veeck will suspend Wilson without pay for the rest of the season. In 112 games, Wilson hit just .261 with 13 home runs, and the Cubs will send the slumping slugger to St. Louis over the winter. (2)
  • 1962 - Ken Hubbs of the Cubs sets major league records at 2B for consecutive games without an error (78) and consecutive chances accepted (418) without an error. His streak ends with a 4th-inning throwing error as Cincinnati beats Chicago, 4-1. (2)
  • 1964 - Ernie Banks belts a double and homer in the same inning, and the Cubs use the big score to beat the Cards, 8-5. Mike Cuellar takes the loss against Larry Jackson. (2)
  • 1969 - Billy Williams has all four of Chicago’s hits, as the Cubs lose a 9-2 decision to Steve Blass and the Pirates. There’s nothing cheap about Billy’s hits - two doubles and two homers - as he sets a National League record for most hits in a game with no other hits, tying the major-league record of Kid Elberfeld (August 1, 1903). Blass helps his own cause with his only major league homer, a three-run blast, off Ken Holtzman, and three singles. The win is Pittsburgh’s first at Wrigley Field since July 5, 1968, a string of 13 losses. They’ll win the next two to sweep the series and drop the Cubs lead to 2½ games. (2)
  • 1978 - The Expos beat the Cubs, 10-8, in a nine-inning game that sees a major-league record 45 players participate. (2)

Cubs birthdays: Ed Stein, Lefty Leifield, Candy Maldonado, Cliff Bartosh, Jeff Stevens, Tyler Colvin*. Also notable: Nap Lajoie HOF, Bill Mazeroski HOF.

Today in world history:

  • 1666 - Great Fire of London ends, leaving 13,200 houses destroyed and 8 dead.
  • 1698 - Russian Tsar Peter the Great imposes a tax on beards.
  • 1882 - 10,000 workers march in 1st Labor Day parade in NYC.
  • 1901 - National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, better known as Minor League Baseball is formed at the Leland Hotel in Chicago.
  • 1955 - WTTW TV channel 11 in Chicago, IL (PBS) begins broadcasting.
  • 1966 Jerry Lewis’ 1st Muscular Dystrophy Labor Day telethon raises $1 million.

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.