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:
- 1901 - Pete Dowling of Cleveland throws the first no-hitter in American League history, 7-0 against his former team, Milwaukee - except hardly anyone notices. This is because most game reports credit him with a one-hitter, the single safety being hit in the seventh inning by Wid Conroy on a ball that 3B Bill Bradley fails to snag. However, the official scorer soon reverses his decision, charging Bradley with an error, and Milwaukee’s papers give the hurler proper credit, but their reach is not wide enough to prevent Dowling’s feat to be largely lost in the mists of history until it is re-discovered in the 21st century. (2)
- 1908 - Cy Young’s third career no-hitter is an 8-0 Boston win over New York. Cy almost duplicates his perfect game of 1904, walking just one batter - leadoff hitter Harry Niles. Niles is then caught stealing and the next 26 batters make out. Cy also tallies three hits and drives in half the Pilgrims’ runs off Rube Manning. At 41 years and 3 months, he is the oldest pitcher to turn the no-hit trick. Nolan Ryan will beat him in 1990 at the age of 43. (1,2)
- 1909 - Forbes Field opens in Pittsburgh, PA with a sell-out crowd of 30,332 watching the first-place Pirates lose, 3-2, to the Cubs as a parade of old-time players precedes the game. Built at a cost of over $1 million, it is the most expensive ballpark built to this point and the first to feature amenities such as elevators and an underground parking garage for motorcars. Chicago’s Ed Reulbach spoils Pittsburgh’s dedication of the new playpen, allowing three hits and beating Vic Willis. The Pirates will draw 98,000 fans in their first five home games, including 41,000 on July 5th. (2)
- 1931 - The New York Giants’ Ethan Allen pinch-hits a grand slam off the Cubs’ Pat Malone to tie the game, but Chicago scores again to win at the Polo Grounds, 11-10. Sparky Adams also homers in the game, his first since 1925. He had been to bat 3,104 times without a round-tripper. (2)
- 1934 - On the 25th anniversary of Forbes Field, a granite monument to Barney Dreyfuss to the left of the exit gate is unveiled before the start of the Cubs-Pirates match. The Windy City squad wins, 4-2, behind Bill Lee, the eighth straight win for the Cubs. (2)
- 1948 - In his first full season as a pitcher, Bob Lemon of the Cleveland Indians pitches a no-hitter, beating the Detroit Tigers, 2 - 0, in front of 49,628 at Briggs Stadium. Lemon has only two scares: Dale Mitchell makes a miraculous catch of a George Kell drive in the fourth and Ken Keltner makes a great stop behind third base in the fifth. The Tigers’ home was the last park in the junior circuit to use lights, installing illumination only two weeks ago. (2)
- 1959 - At Wrigley Field, a bizarre play occurs in the fourth inning when two balls are put into play. On a 3-1 count, Bob Anderson’s pitch to Stan Musial is wild and bounces back to the screen. Catcher Sammy Taylor ignores the ball, assuming it ticked off Musial’s bat, but Cubs 3B Alvin Dark rushes in to retrieve the wild pitch/foul tip. The bat boy tosses the ball to field announcer Pat Piper, and Dark finally retrieves it from him. Meanwhile home plate ump Vic Delmore has handed a second ball to Anderson. Through all this, Musial reaches first with what he thinks is ball four, and then streaks for second base. Simultaneously, Dark and Anderson fire to the bag. Anderson’s throw goes into CF, but Dark’s to Ernie Banks catches the sliding Musial. Stan ignores the tag and rambles to third base as play is stopped. Delmore then rules Musial is out at second, while Al Barlick rules Stan safe at first base. Both managers play the game under protest, but the Cards drop theirs after dropping the Cubs, 4-1. The National League will drop Vic Delmore at the end of the season. (1,2)
- 1962 - With the aid of 13 strikeouts and a Frank Howard home run, Sandy Koufax no-hits Bob Miller and the Mets, 5-0 in Los Angeles. Sandy starts off the game by fanning the side on nine pitches in the 1st inning, the first National League pitcher to strike out the side on nine pitches since Brooklyn’s Dazzy Vance, in 1924. It will be the first of four career no-hitters thrown by Koufax. (1,2)
- 1964 - At Wrigley Field, the Reds’ Joey Jay allows just two hits but loses to the Cubs, 1-0. Larry Jackson does him one better, allowing just one hit and driving in the lone run with a single. Jackson’s no-hit bid is stopped in the 7th when Pete Rose singles. (2)
- 1972 - Joe Pepitone rejoins the Cubs after a brief retirement, and is 1 for 4 in the Cubs’ 4-3 win over the Pirates. Rick Reuschel allows two hits in 7⅓ innings before leaving with a twisted ankle, but picks up the win. Billy Williams drives in three runs for the Cubs. (2)
- 1997 - In the resumption of interleague play, the Cubs set the tone by edging the American League Royals, 8-7. Dave Clark’s three-run, pinch-hit home run with two outs in the eighth tops off a five-run inning. Jeff King hits his fifth homer against National League pitchers for the Royals. (2)
Today in history:
- 1520 - Spanish conquistadors are expelled from Tenochtitlan following an Aztec revolt against their rule under Hernán Cortés during “La Noche Triste” (the Night of Sadness). Many soldiers drown in the escape, and Aztec emperor Moctezuma II dies in the struggle.
- 1859 - French acrobat Charles Blondin is 1st to cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope.
- 1864 - Yosemite Grant Act signed by President Abraham Lincoln bestowing 200,000 acres to the state of California, establishes America’s first state-controlled park.
- 1908 - A giant fireball, most likely caused by the air burst of a large meteoroid or comet flattens 80 million trees near the Stony Tunguska River in Yeniseysk Governorate, Russia, in the largest impact event in recorded history.
- 1938 - Superman 1st appears in DC Comics’ Action Comics Series issue #1.
- 1940 - ”Brenda Starr, Reporter”, 1st cartoon strip by a woman, Dale [Dalia] Messick, begins as a comic-book supplement to Chicago’s Sunday Tribune.
- (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.