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Historic Wrigley Field Video From The 1980s

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If you've seen these before, enjoy them again. If you haven't -- here's some slices of Cubs history from the 1980s.

Wrigley Field, September 27, 1984
Wrigley Field, September 27, 1984
Al Yellon

This morning, my friend Bob Gassel sent me links to a site that has tons of Chicago-related video. Of course, that includes quite a bit of Cubs video, but not like many you've ever seen.

On September 30, 1984, the Cubs faced the Cardinals at Wrigley Field in the final regular-season game that year. The division had been clinched and fans were looking forward to the playoffs which would begin two days later. I remember that as a sunny, but very chilly (for late September) day, temperatures only in the 40s.

The Cubs came back to win the game in the bottom of the ninth off Bruce Sutter, depriving him of what would have been a then-record-breaking 46th save.

After the game, no one left the ballpark. Since many of the fans there that day likely weren't able to get playoff tickets, for them it was their final chance to celebrate that year's playoff team. A few minutes after the game ended, the Cubs came back on the field for a victory lap. This is commonplace now, but 31 years ago, it was unheard-of. I've written about this game and the celebration before, but here's the video. In it, Steve Stone refers to the "victory lap" as something car race drivers do; he and Harry Caray seemed as amazed as everyone in the park was that day about it.

The video begins about one minute in, you'll have to scroll the counter at the bottom to get there. Note also that these videos begin with color bars and a loud tone -- might be worth turning your speakers down when you start!

It begins with a sportscaster -- not sure who that is, in fact -- narrating the game-tying and game-winning hits, and then turns it over to Harry and Steve describing the "victory lap":

You can get a bit of a sense of how loud the ovation was on that video, but I can tell you from having been there that day, it was just as thrilling as Harry described it to be. Since it was a first -- we've seen things like this since -- it was something I will never, ever forget.

Another video on that site shows a fascinating look at the ballpark as it appeared the following summer, specifically on June 5, 1985. This 18-minute video is "B-roll" that was shot for a documentary that was put together on the life and times of Bill Veeck titled "Veeck: A Man For Any Season." You can watch the entire documentary here. The B-roll below focuses on the ivy, the bleachers and the scoreboard, things that Veeck played a key role in getting installed at Wrigley in 1937.

Incidentally, that June 5, 1985 game is the one that Ferris and his friends were supposed to have attended in the film "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." You can see video from that game shown on a TV in a pizza place at one point in the movie. But that wasn't the day the filmmakers actually shot scenes at Wrigley. That happened September 24, 1985 -- I definitively solved that mystery about five years ago.

Anyway, I've looked for myself in the B-roll video below, in the area where I used to sit in right field, but can't find myself there. The camera is set up in the right-field corner and it might be at too oblique an angle to my old right-field seats, although you can see that area at times.

One of the things that's instantly noticeable as different from today (beyond the 1980s hairstyles) is how few people are wearing any team gear except for Cubs caps. In 2015, the vast majority of fans at Cubs games at Wrigley are sporting some kind of team gear, shirt, shirsey, jersey, whatever -- but back then that was unusual.

Hope you enjoy these videos, that give you a sense of what Wrigley Field was like more than 30 years ago, in the mid-1980s. This afternoon, another installment of the Revisiting Cubs Victories 2015 series.