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Baseball history unpacked, February 15

A thrice-weekly digest, replete with #Cubs, #MLB, and #MiLB factoids, gathered from reputable sources. Walk like a Penguin in the age of asparagus, and other stories.

Happy birthday, Ron Cey!
Photo by George Gojkovich/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:

  • 1905 - Accused of throwing games, St. Louis Cardinals righthander Jack Taylor is acquitted by the National League Board of Directors in New York, but he is found guilty of bad conduct and fined $300. (2)
  • 1910 - Both major leagues adopt resolutions banning syndicate baseball, which allowed owners to have financial interests in more than one team. The National League votes for a 154-game schedule to open on April 12th, which the American League has already adopted. Other rules: umpires must announce all team changes to spectators; batting orders must be delivered to the umpire at home plate before the game; a batter is out if he crosses the plate from one batter’s box to the other while the pitcher is in position to pitch; a baserunner is out if he passes another runner before the latter has been put out. (2)
  • 1928 - The University of California hosts a top local semi-pro team, the Ambrose Tailors, by using the rules of reversible baseball, invented by Cal coach Carl Zamloch, a former major leaguer. Under these rules, a batter can decide to run to either first or third base when he puts the ball in play, and if he is successful in reaching base, later batters in the inning must follow his lead in running the bases either in normal or reverse order, until the bases are empty again and the choice is left to the batter. The game is a success, with 500 spectators present and significant coverage, but the new rules will not be widely adopted. (2)
  • 1964 - Cubs second baseman Ken Hubbs, 22, is found dead in his private plane which crashed on February 13, 1964, near Provo, Utah, while en route to Colton, California. As a rookie in 1962, Hubbs had played in 78 consecutive games without making an error. (1)
  • 1990 - Major League owners refuse to open spring training camps without a new Basic Agreement with the Players’ Association, beginning a lockout that will last 32 days and postpone the start of the regular season by one week. (1,2)

Cubs birthdays: Charlie Irwin, Footer Johnson, Chuck Estrada, Ron Cey*, Rolando Roomes, Brian Williams, Nate Schierholtz. Also notable: Billy Hamilton HOF.

Today in history:

  • 399 BC - Philosopher Socrates is sentenced to death by the city of Athens for corrupting the minds of the youth of the city and for impiety.
  • 1386 - Duke Philip the Stout forms Council of Flanders.
  • 1764 - St. Louis, Missouri founded as a French trading post by Pierre Laclède.
  • 1903 - 1st Teddy Bear introduced in America, made by Morris & Rose Michtom.
  • 1933 - President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt survives assassination attempt but Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak is mortally wounded, he would die on March 2.
  • 2001 - First draft of the complete human genome is published in the journal “Nature”.
  • 2005 - YouTube, Internet site on which videos may be shared and viewed by others, is launched in the United States.

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.