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:
- 1888 - Albert Spalding announces a baseball tour to Australia next winter with his Chicago team and a squad of National League All-Stars. (2)
- 1934 - Mildred Didrickson (also known as Babe Zaharias), the renowned all-around female athlete, pitches the first inning for the Philadelphia Athletics in a spring training exhibition game against the Brooklyn Dodgers. She gives up one walk but no hits. Two days later she pitches again, this time one inning for the St. Louis Cardinals against the Boston Red Sox. Didrickson is less successful the second time, giving up four hits and three runs. Bill Hallahan relieves her, as she does not have an at bat in either game. She will also play several games for the House of David this season. Didrickson is the second female to play exhibitions with a major league team. Previously, first baseman Lizzie Murphy played for an American League All-Star team on August 14, 1922. (1,2)
- 1953 - U.S. Senator Edwin C. Johnson offers a bill to give clubs the sole right to ban radio-TV broadcasts of major league games in their own territory. The antitrust division of the Justice Department outlawed this practice in 1949. Johnson believes that it started the decline of baseball in small towns and cities throughout the country. His bill aims to restore the equity between large communities and the small areas. (1,2)
- 1954 - The Chicago Cubs send shortstop Roy Smalley to the Milwaukee Braves for pitcher Dave Cole, opening up the shortstop job for Ernie Banks. (2)
- 1955 - While the Chicago Cubs are in Arizona beating their Los Angeles farm team, 7-0, major league baseball is played at Wrigley Field — the one in Los Angeles, that is. In a rematch of last year’s World Series, the New York Giants beat the Cleveland Indians again, 7-3. Willie Mays and Dusty Rhodes hit home runs for New York, while Ralph Kiner’s ninth-inning homer is the first score for Cleveland. A crowd of 24,434 is on hand. (2) This was a pre-season exhibition. Here’s a photo. Here’s confirmation of the event (about the middle of the article). Steve Bilko* is featured in that account also.
- 1976 - Leo Durocher, hired to manage the Taiyo Whales of the Japanese Central League, is sick with hepatitis and asks for a five-week delay in reporting. Durocher receives a telegram from the Taiyo Whales stating: “Since the championship starts in twenty days, it’s better if you stay home and take care of yourself for the remainder of the season.” (2)
- 2000 - The new World Umpires Association agrees to consolidate all umpires as part of an interim agreement with the commissioner’s office. The umpires will merge into a single unit reporting directly to Major League Baseball this season, after being employed by either the National League or the American League since the latter’s creation in 1901. (2)
Cubs birthdays: Emil Geiss, Johnny Butler, Clyde Shoun, Jim Willis, George Altman, Manny Alexander. Also notable: Joe McGinnity HOF.
Today in history:
- 141 - 6th recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet.
- 1345 - Saturn, Jupiter and Mars-conjunction: thought “cause of plague epidemic”.
- 1930 American fast food restaurant chain “KFC” [Kentucky Fried Chicken] is founded by Colonel Harland Sanders in North Corbin, Kentucky.
- (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.
**Bonds has by far the better statistical case, but Baines got in.
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.