Friday, July 8, 2016

Name that Game:

This card from the second series of Wrigley Field Celebrates 100 Years has a nice color shot of the iconic scoreboard.  As soon as I saw the card I knew I had to do my detective thing and find out the date of the game.

Here's a closer look at the scoreboard.

Right away I knew the picture was no later than 1952 because Boston in the the NL.  I was going to start with 1952 and work backwards.

Another very helpful clue is the listing of the Cubs and Reds starting pitchers.  For the Cubs it was #20.  In the 50's that number was worn by pitcher Dutch Leonard.  I just went through his game logs at Baseballreference and it didn't take long.

The scoreboard shows the top of the fifth inning on July 7, 1951.  The Cubs would go on to lose the game 8-6 and Leonard took the loss.

The attendance for the game was 11,626.  The bleachers were packed but the rest of the grandstands would have been pretty empty.

The game was moving to the top of the fifth inning.  Red's catcher Dixie Howell was coming to the plate.  He would double as the Reds would go on to score two runs in the inning to take the lead for good.

Another oddity:  Look at the listing of umpires and you'll see just three listed.  There was no second base umpire.  It wasn't until the following year, 1952, that four man crews were used in all MLB games.


  1. And that's [put on sunglasses] the ballgame. [OOOOWWWWWW!]

  2. Nice detective work. In case you're interested here is a link to the original getty photo that Topps used for the card. I agree the bleachers look unusually full for a crowd of under 12k. Also note on the original pic the rooftop sign advertizing Ricketts Restaurant and bar. No relation but still...