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Baseball history unpacked, March 31

A thrice-weekly digest, replete with #Cubs, #MLB, and #MiLB content, gathered from reputable sources. Lets play two, and other miscues.

Lets Play Two
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/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:

  • 1883 - The Olympic Town-Ball Club of Philadelphia, PA, the nation’s oldest ball club, celebrates its 50th anniversary. (2)
  • 1909 - The National Commission rules that players who jump contracts will be suspended for five years. Players joining outlaw organizations will be suspended for three years as punishment for going outside organized baseball. (1,2)
  • 1962 - The Pacific Coast League proposal to use a designated hitter is voted down 8-1 by the Professional Baseball Rules Committee. Prompted by the Cubs’ college of coaches, the committee also rules each team must name a manager 30 minutes prior to the game. The DH will not come into major league use until 1973, when it is adopted by the American League. (2)
  • 1994 - The New York Mets trade hard-luck righthander Anthony Young to the Chicago Cubs for shortstop Jose Vizcaino. Young holds the major league record for the most consecutive losses by a pitcher. (2)
  • 1995 - The longest strike action in sports history ends - in a courtroom. A U.S. District court order forbids owners from implementing new financial working conditions in the wake of the impasse in negotiations. The court decides that conditions will revert to the old rules from the previous season. Because of the timing of the court order, 18 games will have to be trimmed from the major league schedule. (1,2)
  • 1998 - Florida Marlins catcher Charles Johnson, who had not committed an error in a record 172 consecutive regular season games, is charged with one on a wild throw in the 1st inning of Florida’s opening day 11 - 6 victory over the Cubs. Johnson hits a three-run home run in Florida’s six-run 1st inning to atone for his miscue. The defending champs will lose their next 10 games. (2)
  • 2008 - The Chicago Cubs unveil a statue of Ernie Banks* outside of Wrigley Field. Unfortunately, sculptor Lou Cella engraved “Lets play two” on the sculpture instead of “Let’s play two.” (2)
  • 2021 - Federal Judge J. Paul Oetken dismisses umpire Angel Hernandez’s lawsuit against Major League Baseball, filed in 2017, alleging that he was a victim of racial discrimination and as a result was passed over for promotion and prestigious assignments. The judge rules that the evidence presented does not support the allegations, as MLB’s decisions were based on objective performance evaluations, and other senior umpires were also not promoted for similar reasons. (2)

Cubs birthdays: Big Jeff Pfeffer, John Herrnstein, Gonzalo Marquez. Also notable: Mule Suttles HOF.

Today in history:

  • 1146 - Bernard of Clairvaux preaches his famous sermon in a field at Vézelay, urging the necessity of a Second Crusade. Louis VII and Eleanor of Aquitaine are present and join the Crusade.
  • 1683 - Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I and King John III Sobieski of Poland sign a covenant against Turkey, beginning of the Holy League.
  • 1880 - 1st town to claim to be completely illuminated by electric lighting (Wabash, Indiana).
  • 1889 - Eiffel Tower officially opens in Paris. Built for the Exposition Universelle, at 300 meters high it retains the record for the tallest man made structure for 41 years.
  • 1906 - Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States is founded to set rules in amateur sports; becomes the National Collegiate Athletic Association in 1910.
  • 1918 - 1st daylight savings time in US goes into effect.
  • 1930 - The Motion Pictures Production Code is instituted, imposing strict guidelines on the treatment of sex, crime, religion and violence in film for the next 38 years.
  • 2022 - First truly complete sequence of a human genome published by Telomere-to-Telomere (T2T) consortium, after breakthroughs in new technology (previously just over 90% coded).

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.