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:
- 1916 - In Cleveland, Babe Ruth of the Boston Red Sox shuts out the Indians, 5-0, on five hits, and has now thrown 24 straight scoreless innings. He is 2 for 3 at the plate. (2)
- 1948 - Richie Ashburn of the Philadelphia Phillies hits safely for the 23rd straight game in a Phillies 6 - 5 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field, setting a 20th century National League record for a rookie. Benito Santiago will hold the record by century’s end. (1,2)
- 1949 - Commissioner Happy Chandler lifts the ban on all players who jumped to the Mexican League, starting in 1946. Only Sal Maglie will make a significant mark after the exile. Lou Klein will be the first jumper to make a major-league box score, successfully pinch-hitting on June 16th. (2)
- 1959 - In a 10-5 loss to the Cubs, Pittsburgh’s Dick Stuart becomes, in the words of Les Biederman, “the first player in the 50-year history of Forbes Field to ride a ball over the centerfield fence, a few feet to the left of the flagpole.” While Stuart is perhaps the first National League player to literally clear the wall, mention must be made of both Negro League great Josh Gibson, who did it twice, in 1930 and 1946, and Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby, who actually hit the flagpole on April 24, 1924. Biederman continues: “Stuart faced Glen Hobbie with Smoky Burgess aboard and rifled a shot straight over George Altman’s head. Altman raced back and watched the flight of the ball. It disappeared over the 457-foot mark on the centerfield fence, longest part of Forbes Field. Nobody could quite accurately estimate how far the ball traveled and by how far it cleared the wall. Altman guessed 25 to 30 feet but Walt Moryn, who had a side view of the ball from left field, went on record that the ball cleared the wall by about 40 to 50 feet.” (2)
- 1981 - Houston Astros pitcher Nolan Ryan passes Early Wynn as major leagues’ all-time walks leader, walking two batters in a 3-0 win over the Mets to raise his total to 1,777. Ryan also strikes out 10 batters while pitching a five-hitter. (1,2)
- 2006 - Eric Gregg, a former National League umpire, dies in Philadelphia, at the age of 55. Known for his big personality, extra-wide strike zone and oversized frame, Gregg worked the 1989 World Series, four NL Championship Series, two NL Division Series and one All-Star Game. (2)
- 2011 - For the second straight game, Albert Pujols hits a walk-off home run in extra innings as the Cardinals defeat the Cubs, 3-2. Pujols hits a solo shot off Rodrigo Lopez in the 10th, after doing the same off Jeff Samardzija in the 12th inning of yesterday’s 5-4 win. Ryan Theriot sets the stage for Pujols’ heroics by driving in pinch-runner Tony Cruz from first base with a two-out, 9th-inning double off Carlos Marmol, also extending his hitting streak to 19 games in the process. No National Leaguer had hit walk-off homers in consecutive extra-inning games since Ron Santo in 1966. (2)
- 2012 - Ryan Dempster wins his first game since August 16th of last year, a streak of 18 winless starts, as the struggling Cubs defeat the Brewers, 10-0. Dempster retires the first 15 batters of the game and leaves after having given up three hits over seven innings. The Cubs had lost their last 11 road games before the win. (2)
- 2019 - It seems like former All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel* has finally found a home. A free agent since the end of the World Series, he remained unsigned due to his insistence on obtaining a multi-year contract, and the compensation in the form of top draft pick in the 2019 amateur draft that a team signing him would have had to pay. With the draft now out of the way, the Cubs prove ready to bite on a longer-term deal, offering Kimbrel a three-year contract worth $43 million. (2)
Today in history:
- 1794 - US Congress passes the Neutrality Act, banning Americans from serving in foreign armed forces.
- 1833 - Future 1st computer programmer Ada Lovelace meets mathematician and inventor Charles Babbage.
- 1968 - Palestinian Sirhan Sirhan assassinates Robert F. Kennedy, shooting him 3 times and wounding 5 others at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Kennedy dies the next day.
- (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.