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Baseball history unpacked, April 14

A thrice-weekly digest, replete with #Cubs, #MLB, and #MiLB content, gathered from reputable sources. Kyle Farnsworth keeps on kicking, Kong’s deep fly, and other stories.

Happy birthday, Kyle Farnsworth
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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:

  • 1911 - Cleveland Naps star pitcher Addie Joss dies unexpectedly in Toledo, Ohio, from meningitis at the age of 31. Beset with arm injuries, Joss made just 13 appearances last season, but his 160 wins and ERA of 1.88, compiled in nine seasons, will earn him a plaque at Cooperstown in 1978. (2)
  • 1917 - Eddie Cicotte of the Chicago White Sox pitches an 11-0 no-hitter against the St. Louis Browns. (1,2)
  • 1925 - In the first regular-season Chicago Cubs game to be broadcast on the radio, Quin Ryan announces the contest from the grandstand roof for WGN. Grover Alexander wins for the Cubs, 8-2, over the Pirates and helps himself with a single, double, and home run. (1,2)
  • 1969 - The expansion Montreal Expos host their first game north of the border, marking the first time a regular-season major league game is played outside of the United States. The Expos win their debut at Jarry Park, edging the St. Louis Cardinals, 8-7. Mack Jones hits a three-run home run and two-run triple and Dan McGinn takes the win in 5⅓ innings of relief. Jones’ blast is also the first major league home run hit outside the United States, while light-hitting Dal Maxvill hits a grand slam for the losers. (1,2)
  • 1976 - In the sixth inning of today’s 6-5 loss to Chicago, the Mets’ Dave Kingman hits what will become widely regarded as the longest home run ever hit in Wrigley Field, estimated at 600 feet in many of the next day’s press accounts, with the putative ”paper of record” going as high as 630. Some cold water is applied to these claims by longtime Cubs’ broadcaster Jack Brickhouse, speaking in 1982 with Paul Susman of Baseball Digest: “Brickhouse revealed that the ball was greatly helped by a strong wind of about 35 miles per hour. Brickhouse estimated Kingman’s blast in reality went about 500 feet.” To be fair to Kingman, the Cubs’ own scoresheet for this game estimates “530 to 550 feet,” which in conjunction with researcher Bill Jenkinson’s assertion of 530 feet as the distance between home plate and the point of obstruction, would suggest a typo or simple misreading as the culprit in the inflated Times estimate. (1,2)
  • 1993 - After establishing the all-time career major league record last night with his 358th save, St. Louis Cardinals reliever Lee Smith breaks the National League mark recording his 301st save in the senior circuit. (2)
  • 2013 - The Chicago Cubs and the City of Chicago, IL agree on renovations to Wrigley Field that will cost $500 million. An electronic video scoreboard will be installed in left field, and the number of night games allowed at the historic facility will be increased. No public funds will go towards the renovations, although owner Tom Ricketts will be allowed to develop property near the ballpark to create additional revenue streams. (2)

Cubs birthdays: Ben Tincup, Marty Keough, Greg Maddux HOF, Greg Myers, Kyle Farnsworth.

Today in history:

  • 1611 - Word “telescope” is 1st used by Prince Federico Cesi.
  • 1860 - First Pony Express rider arrives in San Francisco from St. Joseph, Missouri.
  • 1865 - US President Abraham Lincoln is shot in the head by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater in Washington; he dies a day later. U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward and his family are attacked in his home by Lewis Powell as part of the same conspiracy.
  • 1872 - San Francisco organizes Bar Association.
  • 1912 - RMS Titanic, the world’s largest ocean liner, hits an iceberg at 11.40pm off Newfoundland, sinks in the early hours of April 15.
  • 1971 - US Supreme Court upheld busing as means of achieving racial desegregation.

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.