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Baseball history unpacked, April 28

A thrice-weekly digest, replete with #Cubs, #MLB, and #MiLB content, gathered from reputable sources. Stealing home, Spahn’s no-no, and other stories.

Happy birthday, John Gaub!
Photo by John Grieshop/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:

  • 1963 - Hall of Fame umpire Tom Connolly dies in Natick, Massachusetts, at the age of 90. Connolly served as an umpire for 34 years, working in both the American and National Leagues. Connolly once went 10 consecutive seasons without ejecting a player from a game. (2)
  • 1966 - Roberto Clemente’s clutch... base on balls? The notoriously wild swinger works out a walk when it matters – in the ninth inning, with the Bucs down by one, two outs, bases empty, no balls, two strikes, up against a pitcher, Ted Abernathy, who’s always had Clemente’s number. The Sporting News’s Les Biederman reports: “Abernathy had Clemente no balls and two strikes, but apparently the Pirate slugger worried the Cub reliever and he grew too careful. He threw three balls and then Clemente put on a dazzling display of bat control. Abernathy threw eight straight strikes and Clemente fouled off every pitch, seven to right field. Then he drew a walk and Willie Stargell, who always hits Abernathy, hit him again.” After fouling off a 3-2 pitch of his own, Stargell falls short by a foot or two of ending the game with one swing, but his line drive off the centerfield wall brings home Clemente with the tying run en route to an extra-inning Pirate win. (2)

Cubs birthdays: Walt Woods, Luis Quinones, John Gaub. Also notable: Barry Larkin HOF

Today in history:

  • 1635 - Virginia Governor John Harvey accused of treason and removed from office.
  • 1770 - British Captain James Cook, aboard the Endeavour, lands at Botany Bay in Australia.
  • 1789 - Fletcher Christian leads a mutiny on HMS Bounty against its captain William Bligh in the South Pacific.
  • 1928 - RCA and GE install three test television sets in homes in Schenectady, New York, allowing trials of inventor E.F.W. Alexanderson’s first home television receiver; a poor and unsteady 1.5 square inch picture was received from radio transmitter.
  • 1947 - Thor Heyerdahl and the crew of the “Kon-Tiki” set sail from Peru to Polynesia.
  • 2020 - US confirmed cases of COVID-19 pass one million, while death toll of 58,365 surpasses that of US soldiers killed in Vietnam War (Johns Hopkins).

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.