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Memorable Dates in Cubs History
January 26th, 1932 - William Wrigley Jr. owner of the Cubs died, leaving the team to his son Phillip K. Wrigley. The team currently plays at Wrigley Field, which was re-named after William Wrigley. (Wrigley also owned Catalina Island in California... and this article is very interesting.)
January 27th, 1982 - The Chicago Cubs acquired Ryne Sandberg as a throw in from the Phillies along with Larry Bowa, in return for Ivan DeJesus. Ryne Sandberg is my favorite Cub player of all time.
February 2nd, 2005 - A trade between the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago Cubs is completed. It sends Sammy Sosa, the Cubs' all-time home run leader to Baltimore in exchange for prospects Mike Fontenot, and Dave Crouthers, and utility infielder Jerry Hairston Jr. The trade is widely criticized by Cubs fans.
February 14th, 1998 - Harry Caray collapses while having a romantic dinner with his wife. Harry would pass away four days later.
February 18th, 2004 - The Cubs sign Greg Maddux to a $24 million, 3 year deal. Maddux returned to the Cubs after playing eleven seasons in Atlanta.
March 2nd, 1992 - Ryne Sandberg signs a 4 year contract extension worth $28.4 million, making him the highest paid player in baseball at the time.
March 6th, 1987 - Andre Dawson signs as a free agent with the Cubs. While all of baseball is colluding to not sign other teams' free agents, Dawson wanted out of Montreal badly. He presented the Cubs with a blank, signed contract, allowing the team to decide what to pay him. The Cubs signed him for $650,000. Dawson went on to win the MVP award in 1987, despite the Cubs last place finish.
March 16th, 2001 - The Cubs signed Sammy Sosa to a 4 year, $72 million contract extension.
March 30th, 1992 - The Cubs acquired Sammy Sosa from the White Sox. Sosa and Ken Patterson (a relief pitcher) were traded to the Cubs in return for slugging left fielder George Bell.
April 4, 2005 - The Cubs sign third baseman Aramis Ramirez to a four year, $42 million dollar deal. While the contract is a risky proposition, many Cubs fans are relieved that the Cubs have finally plugged the perpetual hole at third base that existed from 1974 - 2003.
April 7, 1916 - "The Cubs became a million-dollar corporation, reorganized under a new board of directors following the January purchase of the team by Charles Weeghman. Previous club value: $500,000." (Quote from April 2005 Vineline, page 47).
April 12, 1977 - Cubs owner Philip (P.K.) Wrigley dies. PK inherited the team from his father in 1932, and owned it for 45 years. Despite reaching the World Series three times in his first 13 years of ownership (largely due to his father and William Veeck's work), the Cubs didn't make the playoffs for Wrigley's final 32 seasons as owner.
April 14, 1925 - WGN Radio broadcasts its first Cubs game.
April 29, 1983 - Lee Elia goes ballistic in a post-game press conference. He criticizes the fans saying that 85% of the world works, and the other 15% attends Cubs games. The full text of his rant, and a downloadable audio file can be found at this page.
May 6th, 1998 - Kerry Wood strikes out 20 Houston Astros, in a 1 hit, complete game shutout. Many longtime baseball observers say that Wood's performance was the most dominating performance they had ever witnessed.
May 21st, 1991 - The Cubs fired Don Zimmer as skipper. Zimmer, nicknamed 'Pop-eye' had managed the team to the NL Eastern Division title in 1989. Media accounts indicate that strains between Zimmer and then Cubs chairman Don Grenesko lead to his firing. Zimmer was replaced by Jim Essian.
June 1st, 1995 - Cubs draft Kerry Wood with the 4th overall pick of the draft. About a week later, Wood throws 175 pitches in the Texas high school state tournament. Many people later point to this date as the start of his arm troubles.
June 4th, 1984 - The Cubs select Greg Maddux in the second round of the June Amateur draft. He was picked with the 31st overall pick in the draft.
June 5th, 2001 - Cubs draft Mark Prior with 2nd overall pick of the draft.
June 13th, 1984 - The Cubs acquire Rick Sutcliffe from the Cleveland Indians in exchange for Joe Carter and Mel Hall. Sutcliffe went 16-1 the rest of the season, helping lead the Cubs to the 1984 NL East pennant. Sutcliffe stayed with the Cubs from 1984 until 1991 compiling an 82-65 record. However, Joe Carter went on to finish his career with 396 home runs.
June 13th, 1994 - Ryne Sandberg Retires for the first time.
June 15th, 1964 - Centerfielder Lou Brock is traded to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for pitcher Ernie Broglio. Broglio went 7 - 19 in a little more than two seasons with the Cubs, while Lou Brock went on to appear in three World Series and win two rings with the Red-Birds. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985. This trade is often cited as the worst trade in history.
June 16th, 1981 - The Tribune Company, headquartered in Chicago Illinois buys the Chicago Cubs for $20.5 million from Bill Wrigley. Bill Wrigley is the third generation of Wrigley's to own the Chicago Cubs. William Wrigley Jr. who made his money in Chewing Gum (Wrigley's) bought a minority stake in 1916, and became majority owner in 1921. His son Phil Wrigley inherited the team after William's death, and then left the team to his son Bill. Bill Wrigley sold the team to pay his inheritance taxes, and because the Cubs were unprofitable.
June 23rd, 1984 - The Ryne Sandberg Game, 2 game tieing homeruns in a comeback win vs. the Cardinals. This game is cited as the turning point in the Cubs 1984 pennant winning season.
June 27th, 1997 - The Cubs signed Sammy Sosa to a four year contract worth $42.5 million, making him the third highest paid player in baseball.
July 5th, 2002 - Changing of the Guard. The Cubs shook up their organization by firing manager Don Baylor, and replacing him with interim manager Bruce Kimm. Additionally, Andy McPhail formally relinquished the title of General Manager to his assistant GM Jim Hendry. McPhail remained as team president.
July 9th, 1990 - Ryne Sandberg wins the Home Run Derby crown and the title for the National League by hitting three home runs with the wind blowing in at Wrigley Field. The Cubs hosted the All Star Game the next day.
July 16th, 1992 - "At a press conference in Pittsburgh, Greg Maddux announces that he has broken off negotiations with the Cubs management and would become a free agent after the season. Maddux is playing on a one-year contract. "I've given them two opportunities to sign me. I really think it should have been taken care of." Tomorrow, Maddux will beat the first-place Pirates". (Entry from Baseball Library - Greg Maddux)
July 19, 2000 - Ed Lynch resigned as Cubs GM after 5.5 years at the helm. Lynch's tenure included a trip to the post-season in 1998, but a losing record overall.
August 9th, 1988 - Tthe Cubs defeated the New York Mets in the first night game ever played at Wrigley Field. The Cubs had originally scheduled the first night game for the night before 8-8-88, but rain wiped out the game. (Check out my Wrigley Field Night Games page.)
August 20th, 1998 - Glenallen Hill hits a pinch-hit Grand Slam as the Cubs beat the Giants 7-3. I attended with my best friend who called the shot.
August 28th, 2004 - Kent Mercker, a Cubs relief pitcher, calls the television booth during a game to complain about Steve Stone and Chip Caray. At the end of the season, Merker, Caray, and Stone no longer worked for the Cubs. (This article discusses the incident.)
August 31st, 1997 - The Cubs trade SS Shawon Dunston to the Pirates for a player to be named later (Ramon Morel possibly). Shawon Dunston never plays another game in a Cubs uniform, but does return in 2004 as a spring training instructor.
September 9th, 1994 - The Cubs hire Andy McPhail away from the Minnesota Twins to become team president. I personally believe this is the day the Cubs organization finally started moving in the right direction. McPhail fired GM Larry Himes at the end of the season, and replaced him with Ed Lynch.
September 20th, 1997 - Ryne Sandberg Day at Wrigley Field. The saddest game I have ever attended, but am sure glad I did. Sandberg went 0-4 with 2 strikeouts, and committed an error which allowed the Phillies to win 3-2. (Click here to download the Ryne Sandberg Day program (PDF) given to all who attended 3.92 MB)
September 24th, 1984 - The Cubs beat the Pirates 4-1 to win the National League East Division title, sending the Cubs to the playoffs for the first time since 1945.
September 26th, 1989 - The Chicago Cubs defeat the Montreal Expos 3-2 to win the National League East Division title.
September 27th, 2003 - The Chicago Cubs swept a double header versus the Pittsburgh Pirates to clinch the National League Central Division title. AC005895.
September 28th, 1998 - The Chicago Cubs defeat the San Franscisco Giants 5-3 in a one game playoff to clinch the National League Wild Card. (Click here to read the story.)
October 4th, 1989 - San Francisco Giants first baseman Will Clark hits a Grand Slam in the 4th inning of game 1 in the NLCS. The Cubs go on to lose the series 4-1. One of the most traumatic events in my young life. I was seven, and can still remember it.
October 4th, 1994 - Larry Himes, the Cubs worst GM since the Tribune company purchased the team in 1982, was fired from his job as general manager of the Chicago Cubs and reassigned as a scout. During Himes tenure, the Cubs lost Greg Maddux, Andre Dawson, Rick Sutcliffe, and numberous other players. Himes made few good moves, but did sign Randy Myers and traded for Sammy Sosa. Himes was despised by many veteran Cubs, which lead to them leaving, or retiring.
October 4th, 1999 - Jim Riggleman gets axed as Cubs manager following a 95 loss season. His 5 year term marked the longest tenure by a Cubs manager since Leo Durocher lasted 6+ years from 1966-1972. During his time, Riggleman lead the team to a wild-card birth in 1998. I always thought Riggleman was a good manager, and was upset to see him fired as a fall guy.
October 5th, 2003 - The Cubs defeat the Atlanta Braves 5-1 to win the 2003 National League Division series, their first post-season series since 1908.
October 10th, 1994 - The Cubs hired Ed Lynch as General Manager. He replaces Larry Himes, and would keep the job until July 19, 2000. Lynch had the longest tenure as a Cubs GM since Dallas Green who held the job from 1982-1987.
October 14th, 2003 - Steve Bartman
October 15th, 2003 - The Florida Marlins defeat the Chicago Cubs in Game 7 of the NLCS, 9-3.
October 21, 1994 - The Cubs hired Jim Riggleman as manager, to replace Tom Trebelhorn. 'Riggs' would keep his job through the 1999 season, a 5 year stint. He also managed a 90 win team in 1998 that saw the Cubs win the wild card.
October 28th, 2004 - Steve Stone resigns from his position as the Cubs Color Analyst. (Click here to see Steve Stone's resignation letter.) The move was in response to 'office politics' and angered many Cubs fans including myself.
October 30th, 1987 - Dallas Green, the GM who brought Ryne Sandberg to the Cubs, and built the 1984 NL East Division champions resigned as General Manager.
October 31, 1995 - Ryne Sandberg announces his return, I first learned about it while delivering newspapers on my paper route. I ran home in tears because I was so happy! One of my best memories in life, and for many fans.
November 1st, 1999 - The Cubs hire Don Baylor as manager. Baylor became the first minority to manage the Cubs when he was hired. Baylor's hiring also marks my biggest misjudgment of a personnel move to date. I thought Baylor would be great... but he was horrible.
November 9th, 1994 - Jim Hendry becomes a Cub. Hendry agreed to leave the Florida Marlins, where he was a scout and a minor league manager, and come to the Cubs as the minor league director. Then rookie GM Ed Lynch convinced Hendry to come to the Cubs. This was one of the greatest birthday presents I have ever received, and I didn't even know it happened! (Check out my partially finished Jim Hendry Bio Page .)
November 9, 2004 - Bob Brenly hired to become the Cubs new color commentator.
November 15th, 2002 - Dusty Baker Hired as Cubs Skipper.After guiding the San Francisco Giants to their first World Series since 1989, Giants owner Peter McGowan decided not to bring Dusty Baker back to San Franscisco. All of Cubdom rejoiced because Jim Hendry had waited to sign Dusty, passing up other candidates such as Bob Melvin, Ned Yost, Ken Macha, and Fredi Gonzalez. (Much of Cubdom has since cooled to Baker.) (Hendry also declined to pursue Ryne Sandberg who mentioned that he would be interested, much to my heart's sadness, and my brain saying "Thank God.").
November 19, 2004 - Len Kasper is hired to be the Cubs new play-by-play man.
November 25th, 2003 - Jim Hendry trades Hee Seop Choi to the Florida Marlins in return for Derrek Lee. The move was seen as a cost-cutting trade by the Marlins, but Choi is considered to have tremendous potential.
December 5th, 1973 - The Cubs attempt to trade third baseman Ron Santo to the California Angels, but Santo blocks the trade with a new rule allowing veterans with 10 years experience, and 5 with the same team to block a trade. He is the first player to ever use the rule, and it is now occasionally referred to as the "Santo Rule."
December 8th, 2000 - Mark Grace signs with the Arizona Diamondbacks, ending a 13 year career with the Chicago Cubs. While Grace was interested in returning to the Cubs, Cubs management wanted to make way for farm product Hee Seop Choi.
December 9th, 1992 - After winning his first Cy Young Award, Greg Maddux signs as a free agent with the Atlanta Braves. His contract is a four year, $28 million deal. He proceeds to win three more consecutive Cy Young Awards in Atlanta.
December 9th, 1992 - Andre Dawson signs a 2 year, $9.3 million with the Boston Red Sox after Cubs General Manager Larry Himes made it clear he did not want to re-sign "the Hawk."
December 11th, 1973 - The Cubs trade Ron Santo to the Chicago White Sox for pitcher Steve Stone.
Do you have an important event that should be added to the Cubs Calendar? Email it to me, and I will probably include it.
The Cubs calendar is updated sporadically and is primarily aimed at reflecting off field moves.
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