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Baseball history unpacked, February 16

A thrice-weekly digest, replete with #Cubs, #MLB, and #MiLB factoids, gathered from reputable sources. Read more about the battle between the Giants and other stories, and listen to Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan collaborating, in this exciting installment of our long-running series.

Happy birthday, Esteban Quiroz!
Photo by Hector Vivas/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:

  • 2003 - His body temperature having soared to 108 degrees, Orioles 23-year-old pitching prospect Steve Bechler dies of multi-organ failure after a spring training workout yesterday. Early speculation is the expectant father’s death may have been caused by ephedrine, a dietary supplement linked to heat stroke and heart attacks. (2) Malcolm Allen of SABR wrote this up.
  • 2015 - U.S. District Court Judge Darrin Gayles sentences Anthony Bosch, the man behind the Biogenesis PED scandal, to four years in jail for masterminding the operation that led to a dozen major league players receiving suspensions of 50 games or more. Ironically, the poster boy for the guilty players, Alex Rodriguez, issues a handwritten apology to fans today as he is about to head to spring training with the Yankees following the end of his suspension, but the text does not go into any detail besides expressing general regret for his trespasses. (2) More about this here.
  • 2022 - After a short deliberation, the jury in the trial of former Angels employee Eric Kay, accused of supplying the drugs that led to the overdose death of P Tyler Skaggs in 2019, returns a guilty verdict. Kay now faces a minimum jail sentence of 20 years. (2) The straight dope from the DoJ.

Cubs birthdays: Doyle Lade, Mike Campbell, Scott Williamson, Cody Ransom, Esteban Quiroz*. Also notable: Wally Pipp.

Today in history:

  • 1568 - Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian II agrees to pay tribute to the Ottoman Empire for peace.
  • 1776 - First volume of Edward Gibbon’s seminal work “The Decline and Fall of Roman Empire” published.
  • 1815 - Treaty of Ghent ratified by the US Senate and signed by President James Madison ending War of 1812, over a month after it was signed in Europe.
  • 1876 - Sardines first canned by Julius Wolff in Eastport, Maine.
  • 1933 - US Senate accepts Blaine Act: ending prohibition.
  • 1969 - Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash record an album; it is never released**
    **Yes it has been, at least in part. Here, enjoy a track:

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 (this also includes the history bullets). Thanks for reading, and thanks also for your cooperation.