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:
- 1884 - The National League agrees to allow overhand pitching, but rules that pitchers must keep both feet on the ground throughout their pitching motion in order to reduce the velocity of their pitches. They still must throw the ball at the height requested by the batter. In addition, teams are now required to supply a separate bench for each club at their park to limit inter-team fraternization. (2)
- 1888 - The Joint Rules Committee reduces the number of balls for a walk from five to four, establishing the four balls/three strikes count that remains in effect to this day. It also eliminates an out on a foul tip if the catcher catches it within 10 feet of home plate. (2)
- 1934 - 17-year-old pitcher Eiji Sawamura gives up one hit, a home run to Lou Gehrig, as the touring major league All-Stars win in Japan, 1-0. At one point, Sawamura strikes out four future Hall of Famers in a row: Charlie Gehringer, Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, and Gehrig. Also visiting Japan as part of the big league All-Stars, catcher Moe Berg shoots movie film showing the roofs of Tokyo. The film will allegedly be used as a guide by United States bombers during World War II. (1,2)
- 1950 - Pittsburgh Pirates general manager Roy Hamey resigns and is replaced by Branch Rickey. (2)
- 1952 - Chicago Cubs slugger Hank Sauer is named National League Most Valuable Player by the Baseball Writers Association of America. The Cubs finished in fifth place despite Sauer’s 37 home runs and 121 RBI. (1,2)
- 1987 - Don Zimmer* is hired by long-time friend Jim Frey to manage the Chicago Cubs. Zimmer will compile a 265-258 record during his three-plus-year tenure with the Cubs, including a division title in 1989. (2)
- 2001 - Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki becomes only the second rookie in major league history to win the Most Valuable Player Award. He had earlier won the Rookie of the Year Award, joining Boston Red Sox outfielder Fred Lynn, who achieved this double distinction in 1975. (2)
Today in history:
- 1272 - Edward I proclaimed King of England after death of his father, Henry III. He would take two years to return to England from the Ninth Crusade.
- 1888 - Willard Bundy patents timecard clock.
- (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.
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