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Baseball history unpacked, April 19

A thrice-weekly digest, replete with #Cubs, #MLB, and #MiLB content, gathered from reputable sources. Wild Bill, the Clown Prince of Baseball, and the Shot Hear ‘Round the World. And more!

Shawn Camp, involved in a big game on this day.
Photo by Brian D. Kersey/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:

  • 1890 - The National League’s biggest Opening Day crowd, 6,311 at West Side Park, watches Chicago Colts pitcher Wild Bill Hutchison beat the visiting Cincinnati Reds, 5-4, earning the first of his 42 wins and 65 complete games out of 66 starts in the season. Hutchinson will work 603 innings and relieve five times while sporting a 2.70 ERA. (2)
  • 1920 - Washington Senators pitcher Al Schacht, who will later become the “Clown Prince of Baseball,” throws a 7-0 shutout against the Philadelphia Athletics. (1,2)
  • 1965 - At a cost of $20,000, the original Astrodome ceiling is painted because the sun’s glare makes fielding fly balls hazardous. This will cause the grass to die and spur the introduction of artificial turf next season. (1,2)
  • 1981 - In an International League night game, the Rochester Red Wings and Pawtucket Red Sox played to a 2-2 tie through 32 innings before play was suspended at 4:07 a.m. The game was completed later in the season with Pawtucket scoring the winning run in the 33rd inning of the longest game in professional baseball history.
  • 2013 - Jean Segura channels the ghost of Germany Schaefer in a bizarre 8th-inning play in the Brewers’ 5-4 win over the Cubs. Segura singles and steals second base, and Ryan Braun follows by drawing a walk. Cubs pitcher Shawn Camp then picks Segura off second base, and he is caught in a rundown; Braun moves to second on the play, but Segura manages to escape the pickle and ends up on the base as well. The Cubs tag both runners, and umpire Phil Cuzzi correctly calls Braun out, as the lead runner is entitled to the bag. However, Segura misunderstands the call and, thinking he is out, starts walking back towards the dugout, before the first base coach tells him to stop at first base. As the play was the result of a mistake, and not an attempt to sow confusion, Segura is allowed to remain at first base. He then attempts to steal second base again, but is thrown out. Schaefer is of course famous for stealing first base in a game on August 4, 1911. (2)
  • 2022 - The Padres are the first team to announce a deal to have advertisements on their uniforms, as they will sport the logo of Motorola on their jersey sleeves starting next season. This follows a provision of the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement, concluded at the end of the lockout, that allows the long-banned practice. All other teams are expected to follow in short order. (2)

Cubs birthdays: No present-day or past Cubs were born April 19.

Today in history:

  • 1591 - The French city of Chartres surrenders to King Henry IV.
  • 1775 - American Revolution begins in Lexington, Massachusetts. The “Shot Heard Round the World” takes place later that day in Concord.
  • 1782 - John Adams secures Dutch Republic’s recognition of the United States as an independent government, a house he purchased in The Hague becomes America’s first embassy.
  • 1932 - President Herbert Hoover suggests the five-day work week.
  • 1943 - Bicycle Day - Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann deliberately takes LSD for the first time.
  • 1948 - American Broadcasting Company (ABC) TV network debuts.

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.