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Baseball history unpacked, January 23

A thrice-weekly digest, replete with #Cubs, #MLB, and #MiLB factoids, gathered from reputable sources. Hack Wilson finds another new team, and other stories. Happy birthday, Jeff Samardzija

Photo by Chris Graythen/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.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1887 - In Alameda, California, Dave Foutz and a touring team based in Louisville are accused of throwing a game against another touring team of Eastern pros. These exhibitions and the local California League competition are making for a lively winter in the San Francisco Bay Area. (2)
  • 1927 - In the continuing clash between Commissioner Kenesaw Landis and American League President Ban Johnson, the AL owners are prepared to censure Johnson. But his serious health problems convince them to change their stance and Johnson is given an indefinite leave of absence instead. Detroit Tigers President Frank Navin takes over control of the league on an interim basis and the owners adopt a resolution repudiating the charges that Johnson made against Landis. (2)
  • 1932 - The Brooklyn Dodgers acquire slugger Hack Wilson from the St. Louis Cardinals. Wilson, who costs only $45,000 and a minor league pitcher, will sign for $16,500, half his previous year’s salary. He will hit .297 with 23 home runs and 123 RBI for Brooklyn.
  • 1956 - Hall of Fame umpire Billy Evans dies in Miami, Florida, at the age of 71. Evans began his major league umpiring career in 1906, when he was only 22 years old. (2)
  • 1981 - Faced with the possibility of losing star outfielder Fred Lynn to free agency because of a front-office blunder, the Red Sox trade Lynn and pitcher Steve Renko to the Angels for pitchers Frank Tanana and Jim Dorsey and outfielder Joe Rudi. The Players Association contends that Lynn and catcher Carlton Fisk are free agents because the Red Sox failed to mail their new contracts by the deadline provided for in the Basic Agreement. Lynn signs a four-year deal with the Angels and agrees to drop his case. Fisk’s case will go to arbitration. (1,2)
  • 2013 - Coming off the best season of his career, free agent OF Scott Hairston signs a two-year deal with the Chicago Cubs.(2)

Cubs birthdays: Bill Bowman, Joey Amalfitano, Don Nottebart, Dick Burwell, Jeff Samardzija, Addison Russell.

Today in history:

  • 393 - Roman Emperor Theodosius I proclaims his nine year old son Honorius co-emperor.
  • 971 - War elephant corps of the Southern Han defeated at Shao by crossbow fire from Song Dynasty troops; Southern Han state forced to submit to the Song Dynasty. 1st regular war elephant corps in Chinese army.
  • 1556 - Shaanxi Earthquake, the deadliest ever recorded, kills 830,000 in Shaanxi Province, China.
  • 1812 - 7.8 earthquake shakes New Madrid, Missouri.
  • 1930 - Clyde Tombaugh photographs dwarf planet Pluto.
  • 1957 - Wham-O Company produces the first Frisbee flying disc (originally called the “Pluto Platter” - until 1958).
  • 1973 - US President Richard Nixon announces an accord has been reached to end the Vietnam War.

Common sources:


Some of these items spread from site to site without being verified. That is exactly why we ask for reputable sources if you have differences with a posted factoid, so that we can address that to the originators and provide clarity if not ‘truth’. Nothing is posted here without at least one instance of corroboration. Thanks for reading.