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 - At Hot Springs, Arkansas, Albert Spalding meets with the Chicago White Stockings players and exacts from each man a pledge of total abstinence from drinking during the coming season. With the entire outfield gone from last year’s team and pitcher Jim McCormick holding out at home in New Jersey, the champion White Stockings will have to rely on young players. (2)
- 1895 - Babe Ruth is born in Baltimore, Maryland. Ruth, who is considered by many to be the greatest player of all time, will start his career as a successful pitcher before amassing 714 home runs with 2217 RBI and a lifetime batting average of .342 on his way to Hall of Fame election in 1936.
- 1934 - New York sportswriter and broadcaster Ford Frick is named the public relations director of the National League. In nine months, Frick will become the league’s President and will later become commissioner, succeeding Happy Chandler. Frick had previously played an instrumental role in promoting the birth of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. (2)
- 1958 - Ted Williams signs with the Red Sox for $135,000, making him the highest-paid player in major-league history at the time. (1,2)
Cubs birthdays: Walt Huntzinger, Dale Long*, Smoky Burgess, Travis Wood. Also notable: Babe Ruth HOF.
Today in history:
- 1508 - Maximilian I proclaimed Holy Roman Emperor, 1st Emperor in centuries not to be crowned by the Pope.
- 1778 - Britain declares war on France. France recognizes USA, signs Treaty of Alliance in Paris, 1st US treaty.
- 1867 - American financier and philanthropist George Peabody establishes the Peabody Education Fund to provide improvements to existing schools in poor areas of the southern USA.
- 1951 - Radio commentator Paul Harvey arrested for trying to sneak into Argonne National Laboratory, a nuclear test site located 20 miles (32 km) west of Chicago.
- 2020 - Date of the 1st COVID-19 related death in the US (confirmed by the CDC April 21).
- (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. Thanks for reading.