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 Kansas City, MO, Walter Johnson and Grover Cleveland Alexander face each other for the first time. The exhibition game between the two stars features Zach Wheat, Casey Stengel, Max Carey, Hal Chase and others. The “Johnsons” prevail over the “Alexanders”, 3-2. (2)
- 1926 – Tris Speaker resigns as Indians manager. Stories of a thrown game and betting on games by Ty Cobb and Speaker gain momentum when Judge Landis holds a secret hearing with the two stars and former P-OF Joe Wood. The story and testimony will not be released until December 21st. Former Tiger P Dutch Leonard wrote to Harry Heilmann that he had turned over letters written to him by Wood and Cobb to American League president Ban Johnson, implicating the two in betting on a Tiger–Cleveland game played in Detroit, MI, on September 25, 1919. He charged that Cobb and Speaker conspired to let Detroit win to help them gain third-place money. At a secret meeting of AL directors, it was decided to let Cobb and Speaker resign with no publicity. But, as rumors spread, Judge Landis takes charge of the matter and holds the hearings, at which Leonard refuses to appear. Cobb and Wood admit to the letters, but say it was a horse racing bet, and contend Leonard is angry for having been released to the Pacific Coast League by Cobb. Speaker, not named in the letters, denies everything. Public sympathy is with the stars, but the matter will remain unresolved until January of next year. (1,2)
- 1962 – Major league officials and player representatives agree to return to a single All-Star Game in 1963. The players’ pension fund will receive 95 percent of the one game’s proceeds (rather than 60 percent of two games). (1,2)
- 1971 – In three blockbuster deals, the Cubs trade P Ken Holtzman to the A’s for OF Rick Monday; the Giants trade P Gaylord Perry and SS Frank Duffy to the Indians for P Sam McDowell; and the Reds trade 1B Lee May, 2B Tommy Helms, and OF Jimmy Stewart to the Astros for 2B Joe Morgan, OF Cesar Geronimo, and P Jack Billingham. This last trade, criticized in the Cincinnati press, is one of the best in Reds history, and puts the wheels on the Big Red Machine, as future Hall of Fame member Morgan will win two MVP Awards with the team. (2)
Today in history:
- 1775 – Sir James Jay invents invisible ink.
- 1812 – Napoleon’s Grand Army crosses Berezina River in retreat from Russia.
- 1877 – US inventor Thomas Edison demonstrates his hand-cranked phonograph for the first time.
- 1934 – Chicago Bears beat Detroit (19-16) in 1st NFL game broadcast nationally.
- 1935 – Physicist Erwin Schrödinger publishes his famous thought experiment “Schrödinger’s cat”, a paradox that illustrates the problem of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics.
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.