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:
- 1900 - At West Side Park, the Chicago Orphans defeat the Brooklyn Superbas, 1-0, in just 95 minutes. Nixey Callahan is the winning pitcher and Frank Kitson the loser. (1, 2)
- 1946 - Mel Ott retires from playing and decides only to manage the New York Giants. He has amassed a total of 2 hits in his 42 at-bats, and if his resulting .048 batting average does not amount to “hitting bottom”, Ott, understandably, does not want to find out what does. (2)
- 1956 - Al Simmons dies in Milwaukee, at the age of 54. A former Philadelphia Athletics All-Star outfielder, Simmons hit .334 with 307 home runs and 1827 RBI in a 20-season major league career that included stints with six other teams besides the A’s. Simmons gained induction into the Hall of Fame in 1953. (1,2)
- 1959 - Harvey Haddix of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches one of the most remarkable games in major league history. Haddix tosses 12 perfect innings, retiring the first 36 Milwaukee Braves batters he faces, before losing the perfect game in the 13th inning when Felix Mantilla reaches first base on an error. After a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk to Hank Aaron, Haddix surrenders an apparent three-run home run to Joe Adcock. Aaron leaves the field, and Adcock passes him on the basepaths. Adcock’s blast is called a double as Mantilla scores the winning run. Lew Burdette of the Braves goes all the way for a 12-hit, 1-0 shutout. (2)
- 1959 - In another of Bill Veeck’s stunts, 3’ 7” Eddie Gaedel returns to a major league field along with three other midgets. Arriving by helicopter and dressed as Martians, the quartet drops onto the Comiskey Park infield and shakes hands with second baseman Nellie Fox and shortstop Luis Aparicio, giving them toy ray guns as the public announcer informs the 40,000 plus in attendance that the “extraterrestrials” have arrived to help the somewhat short keystone double play combo in their struggle with giant earthlings.
- 1959 - Ed Walsh dies in Pompano Beach, at the age of 78. Walsh started a brief but remarkable pitching career in 1904 with the Chicago White Sox. From 1906 through 1912, he averaged 24 wins with 220 strikeouts and posted an ERA below 2.00 five times. Walsh was selected to the Hall of Fame in 1946. (2)
- 1986 - Houston Astros pitcher Jim Deshaies records his first major league win, striking out 10 in seven innings, in the Astros’ 4-1 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. (2)
- 1993 - Carlos Martinez of the Cleveland team hits a fly ball that caroms off the head of Texas Rangers outfielder Jose Canseco and bounces into the stands for a home run. The unusual home run helps the Indians defeat the Rangers, 7-6. (2)
- 2012 - The Cubs lose their 11th straight, 3-2 to the Pirates, their longest losing streak since opening the 1997 season with 14 consecutive losses. The teams are tied at 2-all in the bottom of the ninth when Jose Tabata leads off with a single off Rafael Dolis, who then issues a pair of walks around two outs to load the bases; Matt Hague takes a pitch in the ribs to end the game on a walk-off hit-by-pitch. (2)
- 2017 - Hall of Famer Jim Bunning, who won over 100 games in both leagues, pitched a perfect game, and later served in Congress as both a Representative and Senator from Kentucky, passes away at the age of 85. (2)
- 2020 - The Players Association’s initial reaction to the owners’ latest financial proposal to re-start the season in one of “extreme disappointment”. The owners are asking players to accept further salary cuts (in addition to being paid a pro-rated portion of their salaries, as already agreed upon) to compensate for anticipated lower revenues, with the players being paid the most taking the biggest salary cuts. (2)
Cubs birthdays: Eddie Haas, Chuck Hartenstein, Jason Bere, Ben Zobrist.
Today in history:
- 1647 Alse Young becomes the first person executed as a witch in the American colonies, when she is hanged in Hartford, Connecticut.
- 1828 - Mysterious feral child Kaspar Hauser is discovered wandering the streets of Nuremberg.
- 1998 - The United States Supreme Court rules that Ellis Island, the historic gateway for millions of immigrants, is mainly in the state of New Jersey, not New York.
- (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