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:
- 1902 - The nickname Cubs is coined by the Chicago Daily News, when an unbylined column notes that manager Frank Selee will devote his strongest efforts on the team work of the new “Cubs” this year. In time, the Cubs will replace the Colts as the nickname for the Chicago National League club. (1,2)
- 1917 - The Boston Red Sox beat the Brooklyn Robins, 11-2, in Hot Springs, Arkansas. For tomorrow’s exhibition game in Memphis, Tennessee, players on both teams will sport numbers on their sleeves, the idea of Robins’ owner Charles Ebbets. His reasoning is that fans in non-major league cities would be unfamiliar with the players. (2)
- 1938 - White Sox shortstop Luke Appling, sliding into second base in an exhibition game against the Cubs, fractures his right leg in two places and will miss almost half the season. He will return on July 8th. (2)
- 1984 - The Philadelphia Phillies trade outfielders Gary Matthews and Bob Dernier and pitcher Porfi Altamirano to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for pitcher Bill Campbell and catcher Mike Diaz. Matthews was named the NLCS Most Valuable Player last season, while Campbell led the National League with 82 pitching appearances. Dernier will win a Gold Glove for Chicago and help them reach the playoffs. His 45 stolen bases will be the most by a Cubs player since 1907. (2)
- 1986 - Major League Baseball’s Rules Committee votes to change the designated hitter rule for the World Series, allowing a DH to be used in all games played in the American League club’s home park, but not in the National League’s. Since 1976, the DH had been used in all games in even years. (1,2)
- 1993 - The Chicago Cubs put second baseman Ryne Sandberg (broken hand) and shortstop Shawon Dunston (lower back) on the disabled list. The two will miss Opening Day for the first time in nine years together. (2)
- 2002 - The Chicago Cubs send reliever Julian Tavarez and three minor league prospects to the Florida Marlins for reliever Antonio Alfonseca and starter Matt Clement. One of the prospects, Dontrelle Willis, is rated among the Cubs’ top 20 prospects. Alfonseca, nicknamed “El Pulpo” (octopus) because he was born with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot, will replace the injured Tom Gordon. (2)
- 2011 - Cubs P Carlos Silva fails in his bid to become the team’s fifth starter, but says he will refuse an assignment to the minor leagues and makes disparaging remarks about pitching coach Mark Riggins. This pushes the Cubs to release him and swallow $8.5 million for the two years remaining on his contract, while the Seattle Mariners, who traded Silva to the Cubs before the 2010 season, are on the hook for another $5.5 million. Silva has a 10.90 ERA in spring training after a terrible second half last year, and made headlines earlier for getting into a fight in the dugout with 3B Aramis Ramirez. (2)
Cubs birthdays: George Magoon, Bill Collins, Johnny Gill, Walter Stephenson, Newt Kimball, Wes Covington, Lynn McGlothen, Vic Harris, Dick Ruthven. Drew Hall, Jaime Navarro, Junior Lake, Eric Stout. Also notable: Miller Huggins HOF.
Today in history:
- 1003 - Peace deal signed between Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor and the pagan Wends (Slavs).
- 1513 - Juan Ponce de León and his expedition first sight Florida.
- 1790 - The modern shoelace with an aglet patented in England by Harvey Kennedy.
- 1866 - American Andrew Rankin patents the urinal.
- 1915 - Typhoid Mary [Mary Mallon] is arrested and returned to quarantine on North Brother Island, New York after spending five years evading health authorities and causing several further outbreaks of typhoid.
- 1977 - 583 die in aviation’s worst ever disaster when two Boeing 747s collide at Tenerife airport in Spain.
- (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 (this also includes the history bullets). Thanks for reading, and thanks also for your cooperation.