Historical Events (December): Where were the Cubs?
December 5, 1933
The city of Chicago rejoiced because Prohibition was officially repealed. Prohibition had lasted for 13 years, and during those years the Cubs led the league in drunks. Rabbit Maranville, the manager of the Cubs for part of the 1925 season, played with a flask of whiskey in his pants. Pat Malone & Hack Wilson were wild partiers that were arrested after creating several disturbances. Both men died young thanks to the ravages of alcohol. Grover Cleveland Alexander actually passed out drunk in the Cubs dugout during a game. Catcher Rollie Hemsley was arrested for public drunkenness.
Ironically, Prohibition didn’t have much of an effect at Wrigley Field. The Cubs didn’t sell beer at Wrigley before Prohibition. Some of their biggest seasons at the box office were during the Prohibition years. They drew more than a million fans during a few of those seasons, something unheard of in the pre-night game era. It wasn’t until after Prohibition was repealed that they began selling beer.
They may still sell a pint or two to this day.
December 18, 1943
Future Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richard was born. What does that have to do with the Cubs, and why should this be considered historical? Well, check out this strange trifecta of stories from 1972.
Keith and the rest of the Rolling Stones were staying at the Playboy Mansion on State Street in Chicago and absolutely trashing the joint on June 17, 1972. Hugh Heffner was not amused. This memo in quoted in “Hef’s Little Black Book” (by Heffner & Bill Zehme)…
“For your information, the following is a list of damage that resulted from the visit of the Rolling Stones: The White rug in the Red and Blue Room bathroom was burnt and needed to be replaced; The toilet seat was also burnt and had to be replaced; Two bath mats and four towels were also burnt; Red Room chair and couch are stained, possibly to the point of needing reupholstering; Red Room bedspread is badly stained. We are hoping it will come out in cleaning…”
While Keith and his buddies were trashing the Playboy mansion, the Cubs were trashing the Dodgers at Wrigley Field. The newest Cub, Jose Cardenal, smacked a homer and the Cubs won the game 7-2.
And while the Rolling Stones were trashing the Playboy Mansion and the Cubs were trashing the Dodgers, Democratic Headquarters at the Watergate Hotel was also being trashed by some burglars.
In the long run that last story turned out to be a little more important the Keith Richards or Jose Cardenal stories from the same day.