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Baseball history unpacked, January 31

A M-W-F digest, replete with #Cubs, #MLB, and #MiLB content, gathered from reputable sources. Happy birthday, Ernie Banks, and other stories.

Photo by Louis Requena/MLB Photos

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:

Cubs Birthdays: Bob Ferguson, Ray Brown, Charlie Wiedemeyer, Ernie Banks* HOF, Hank Aguirre, Tommy La Stella, Locke St. John. Also notable: Nolan Ryan HOF, Jackie Robinson HOF

Today in History:

  • 1616 - Rounding of Cape Horn for the first time by Dutch expedition of Jacques Le Maire and Willem Corneliszoon Schouten (they name Cape Hoorn after Schouten’s hometown).
  • 1779 - French astronomer Charles Messier adds M57 (Ring Nebula in Lyra) to his catalog.
  • 1862 - Astronomer Alvan Graham Clark makes first observation of Sirius B (first known white dwarf star) in Cambridgeport, Massachusetts while testing his new telescope.
  • 1958 - ”Jackpot Bowling” premieres on NBC with Leo Durocher as host. Durocher didn’t last long as he was replaced by Milton Berle for subsequent seasons.
  • 1958 - Earth’s radiation belt first discovered by space scientist James van Allen and his team at Iowa University.
  • 1990 - First ever all-sports daily “The National” begins publishing.

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. We are trying to set the record as straight as possible. But it isn’t brain surgery.

Also, the ‘history’ segment is highly edited for space and interest. Of course a great many other things happened on those days. We try to follow up on the interesting or unfamiliar ones.

And everything is subject to editorial oui.

Thanks for reading.