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Baseball history unpacked, June 9

A thrice-weekly digest, replete with #Cubs, #MLB, and #MiLB content, gathered from reputable sources. Happy birthday, Tony Wolters, Tyler Colvin’s strange day, and other stories.

Happy birthday, Tony Wolters!
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/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:

  • 1884 - Against ClevelandBilly Sunday of Chicago homers for the third time in three games. His season total will be 4. (2)
  • 1888 - In New York‚ the Giants make fun of yesterday’s Chicago entrance by marching onto the Polo Grounds wearing white plug hats and swallow-tail linen dusters. Jack Lynch‚ the old Mets pitcher‚ walks in the lead with a bat as a baton. Thirteen thousand fans are delighted. Chicago scores four times in the 1st and finishes with an 8-3 win. (2)
  • 1907 - Throwing the only perfect game of his career‚ Weiser (Idaho) P Walter Johnson beats Emmett‚ 11 - 0. He strikes out 14‚ and the game helps bring him to the attention of the Washington Nationals. (2)
  • 1908 - In the New York Globe writeup of today’s 8-2 Giants win over Pittsburgh‚ reporter Peter Morris uses the term cup of coffee in referring to a player: “It isn’t often that Hank O’Day is caught napping‚ but a young player just getting his cup of coffee in the league put one over on Hank and Mr. Klem yesterday”. According to Paul Dickson‚ this is the first documented use of the term. (2)
  • 1915 - The Phils move into first place‚ as Grover Alexander flirts again with a no-hitter‚ holding the Cubs hitless until the seventh. The Phils win‚ 4-3‚ in the 11th‚ beating Larry Cheney. (2)
  • 1920 - Former Chicago OF Lee Magee loses his suit against the Cubs. He had charged that he was released without just cause last February. While on the witness stand‚ Magee admits to having bet on the first game of a doubleheader with Cincinnati on July 251918‚ while a member of the Reds. He said he bet $500 along with Hal Chase. He said he found out after the game that the money had been bet on Boston and stopped payment on the check to the bookmaker. Chase’s check went through. The Reds won the game in the 13th on Edd Roush’s home run. Christy Mathewson testifies that, as the Reds manager, he was suspicious that all was not right in the game. (2)
  • 1932 - Hack Wilson avenges an April humiliation as he clouts a 1st-inning grand slam off Chicago’s Pat Malone to lead the Dodgers to a 5-2 win. Hack also drives home the fifth run. Weeks ago in Chicago‚ the Cubs had walked a man to load the bases for Wilson‚ who then grounded into a double play. The fans heaped scorn on Hack and showered lemons onto the field. Wilson’s five RBI are a birthday present for the 21-year-old Van Lingle Mungo‚ who finishes the win in an hour and 37 minutes. His only mistake is a two-run homer to Gabby Hartnett in the 2nd. (2)
  • 1945 - Following an 8-7 win over the PhilsBrooklyn manager Leo Durocher is arrested on a complaint by a fan that Durocher, allegedly using brass knuckles‚ slugged him after an Ebbets Field cop hit him and broke his jaw‚ then pinned back his arms. The fan‚ John Christian‚ had been loudly berating the Dodgers and‚ after the 6th inning‚ the policeman was escorting the fan beneath the stands when the incident occurred. The case will come to trial next April and the all-male jury will take just 38 minutes to find the policeman and Durocher not guilty. In a separate settlement of a civil suit before the trial‚ Durocher paid Christian $6‚750. (1,2)
  • 1963 - Ernie Banks bangs solo homers off Sandy Koufax‚ in the second and the fifth at Wrigley Field‚ and the Cubs kayo the ace with six earned runs in 5⅔ innings. But Sandy gets no decision as the Dodgers outslug the Cubs‚ 11-8. Larry Sherry is the winner over Cubs ace Dick Ellsworth‚ who has his worst outing of the year. (2)
  • 1973 - At Wrigley Field‚ the Reds turn a 4-1 deficit into an 8-4 win over the Cubs‚ by scoring seven runs in the ninth inning. Dan Driessen‚ in his major league debut‚ has a double and walk in the 9th. (2)
  • 1987 - At Des MoinesIowa (AAA) outslugs Louisville‚ 18-12. Cubs DH Wade Rowdon is 4 for 4 with four homers‚ six RBI and five runs. Rowdon clouts two dingers in the I-Cubs’ nine-run second inning. In his only plate appearance without a homer‚ Rowdon is walked intentionally‚ then Damon Berryhill homers. (2)
  • 1999 - The CubsRangers and Marlins complete a three-way trade‚ with OF Brant Brown going from Florida to Texas in exchange for P Chuck Smith. The Rangers then send him to the Cubs for veteran Dave Martinez. The Marlins trade OF Danny Bautista to the Diamondbacks for IF Andy Fox.
  • 2010 - The Cubs clout five homers, including Derek Lee’s 300th, in beating Milwaukee, 9-4. Marlon Byrd and Geovany Soto hit two long balls each, in support of Carlos Zambrano’s return to the starting rotation, to complete the barrage; all of the homers are hit against Brewers starter Randy Wolf. The news is not all good for the Cubbies, though: before the game, they place 3B Aramis Ramirez on the disabled list with a thumb injury. (2)
  • 2011 - If at first you don’t succeed... The Cubs’ Tyler Colvin hits an apparent game-winning home run off Ryan Madson in the ninth inning, immediately following a shot by Geovany Soto that ties the game at 3-all, but has it overturned by a video review, when the umpires rule that a fan interfered with the ball. Colvin has to settle for a double and the game goes into extra innings. The Phillies load the bases against Sean Marshall in the 10th, but fail to score, and in the 11th, Colvin gets his revenge. He reaches first base on an infield hit, advances to second on a passed ball, and then scores the winning run when 3B Placido Polanco bounces a throw to first base on Darwin Barney’s two-out grounder. The ball bounces up in front of 1B Ryan Howard, and by the time he can corral it, Colvin has raced all the way home for a 4-3 Cubs win. (2)
  • 2015 - Chris Heston of the San Francisco Giants throws the first no-hitter of the season in his 14th career start, 5-0 over the Mets. He strikes out 11 and walks none, but hits three batters with pitches. It is the fifth no-hitter by a Giants pitcher in seven years. (2)

Cubs birthdays: Marty Callaghan, Sal Madrid, Roy Smalley, Doug Clemens, Tom Edens, Mike Fontenot, Buck Coats, Zac Rosscup, Tony Wolters.

Today in history:

  • 68 - Roman Emperor Nero commits suicide, imploring his secretary Epaphroditos to slit his throat to evade a Senate-imposed death by flogging.
  • 1456 - 23rd recorded perihelion passage of Halley’s Comet.
  • 1891 - French painter Paul Gauguin arrives in Papeete, Tahiti.
  • 1915 - William Jennings Bryan quits as US Secretary of State.
  • 1930 - Chicago Tribune reporter Jake Lingle is killed during rush hour at the Illinois Central train station by the Leo Vincent Brothers, allegedly over a $100,000 USD gambling debt owed to Al Capone.
  • 2010 - Stanley Cup Final, Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA: Chicago Blackhawks edge Philadelphia Flyers, 4-3 in OT for a 4-2 series win. It’s the first Stanley Cup for Chicago since 1961.

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.