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Baseball history unpacked, March 22

A thrice-weekly digest, replete with #Cubs, #MLB, and #MiLB content, gathered from reputable sources. Today’s image is of a man who hit the most titanic home run I have ever seen, onto a rooftop across the street from the ballpark. We had better call him MISTER Hill.

Happy birthday, GlenAllen Hill!
Photo by Tom G. Lynn//Time Life Pictures/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:

  • 1889 - The All America team beats Chicago, 7-6, in England’s Old Trafford Cricket Stadium. The Manchester Guardian says: the “general verdict of the more than 1,000 spectators was that the American game was ‘slow’ and ‘wanting in variety.’” (2)
  • 1962 - A former member of the New York Giants requesting anonymity reveals that Bobby Thomson’s home run in the 1951 playoffs against the Brooklyn Dodgers was helped by a sign-stealing clubhouse spy. The spying is claimed to have gone on for the last three months of the season. Thomson, along with former Giants manager Leo Durocher, vehemently denies that he received help, but a source close to the team confirms the spy operation. (1,2)
  • 2012 - Major League Baseball announces it is setting up a new league for amateur players in the Dominican Republic, in order to give them an opportunity to perform against top competition without having to commit to a professional contract at a very young age. The lack of high school or equivalent competition has hampered the development of the game in the D.R., whose national teams have performed poorly in international competitions in spite of the large number of professional players born in the country. (2)
  • 2017 - The United States wins the 2017 World Baseball Classic by defeating heretofore unbeaten Puerto Rico, 8-0, in the finals played at Dodger Stadium. Tournament MVP Marcus Stroman gives the U.S. a great start with six innings of one-hit ball, and Ian Kinsler hits a two-run homer off Seth Lugo in the 3rd. Two more runs chase Lugo in the fifth, and the U.S. puts the game away with a three-run outburst in the seventh. Andrew McCutchen and Brandon Crawford drive in two runs each and Nolan Arenado scores twice. It is the U.S.’s first win in four editions of the World Baseball Classic, and Puerto Rico second straight loss in the finals. (2)

Cubs birthdays: Bill McClellan, Paul Schramka, Al Schroll, Gene Oliver, Dick Ellsworth, Glenallen Hill*, Dexter Fowler.

GlenAllen Hill’s towering drive. May 11, 2000. Mike Bojanowski wrote it up a few years ago.

Today in history:

  • 1630 - 1st colonial legislation prohibiting gambling enacted (Boston).
  • 1765 - Stamp Act passed. First direct British tax on American colonists, organized by Prime Minister George Grenville.
  • 1872 - Illinois becomes 1st state to require sexual equality in employment.
  • 1903 - Niagara Falls runs out of water due to a drought.

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.