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:
- 1933 - Chicago Cubs outfielder Kiki Cuyler breaks his leg and will miss nearly three months of the season. Cuyler also missed half of last season when he broke his other leg. (2)
- 1954 - Chicago Cubs manager Phil Cavarretta gives team owner Phil Wrigley an honest assessment of the Cubs’ chances, and is fired for his defeatist attitude, becoming the first manager ever to be given the gate during spring training. Stan Hack replaces him. Cavarretta is right: the Cubs will drop to seventh place. (1,2)
- 1973 – The “Alert Orange Baseball” is used for the first time in major league history. The unique baseball, an invention of Oakland Athletics owner Charlie Finley, is used in an exhibition game between Oakland and the Cleveland Indians. Finley contends the ball, painted the color of a construction worker’s hat, will be easier for both players and fans to see. But pitchers complain that the ball is slippery and hard to grip, while batters are unable to pick up the spin of the ball without seeing the seams. Although Finley pushes for the use of colored baseballs during the regular season, the idea will never come to fruition. (2)
- 1988 - Popular slugger Ted Kluszewski dies in Cincinnati, Ohio, at the age of 63. In a 15-season career, Kluszewski hit 279 home runs, including a National League leading 49 in 1954. (2)
- 1995 - Four-time All-Star Terry Moore dies in Collinsville, Illinois, at the age of 82. An outstanding defensive center fielder, Moore played 11 seasons for the St. Louis Cardinals and was a member of the World Championship teams in 1942 and 1946. (2)
- 2000 - In Japan, the Chicago Cubs open the major league season at the Tokyo Dome by defeating the New York Mets, 5-3, in the first major league opening day ever played outside of the United States, Canada or Mexico. Jon Lieber gets the victory and Mike Hampton takes the loss. Shane Andrews, Mark Grace and Mike Piazza hit home runs in the game. (2)
- 2018 - The Major League Baseball season starts today with all 30 teams being scheduled to play, although a couple of games are rained out. Ian Happ of the Cubs launches the season by homering off Jose Urena of the Marlins on the very first pitch thrown in the earliest of the 15 games. For his part, Giancarlo Stanton, acquired by the Yankees in a major off-season trade, also has a memorable day as he starts his career in pinstripes with two long balls in a 6-1 win over the Blue Jays. (2)
Cubs birthdays: Bill Harbridge, Karl Pagel, Domingo Ramos. Also notable: Cy Young HOF.
Today in history:
- 1461 - Wars of the Roses: Battle of Towton - Duke Edward of York defeats the Lancastrian army, deposes King Henry VI and Queen Margaret of Anjou and proclaims himself as King Edward IV.
- 1795 - Ludwig van Beethoven (24) has his debut performance as a pianist in Vienna.
- 1929 - US President Herbert Hoover has 1st telephone installed on the desk at the Oval Office’s in the White House.
- 1951 - American citizens Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are convicted and sentenced to death for conspiracy to commit espionage for the Soviet Union.
- 1973 - US troops leave Vietnam, nine yrs after Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.
- (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.