Here’s yet another video from our friends at Flagstaff Films of a visiting team at Wrigley Field in 1937. Again, the ballpark is the star of the show:
Rare Color-1937 pre-game, Philadelphia Phillies, at Wrigley Field (from the Flagstaff Films baseball home movie archive) pic.twitter.com/9Pe4jIGtvV— Flagstaff Films (@Flagstafffilms) November 12, 2018
Once again, the state of the bleachers and scoreboard allows us to precisely date this film. There’s no construction begun on the bleachers yet, so it has to be before July 5. The Phillies were at Wrigley twice before that in 1937: May 25-27 and June 18-20.
It’s the brief view of the scoreboard at the end of this film that tells us the date. On the right side of the board you see the White Sox score line at the top. They’re at New York. That matches the later dates.
Now, what exact date was this? Also toward the end of the video, you see No. 47 warming up near the sideline. That’s Syl Johnson — he was the starting pitcher for the Phillies in the Friday, June 18 game. Presuming again that a pitcher wouldn’t have been loosening up on a day he wasn’t starting, I’m going to say this film was shot before the Cubs/Phillies game on Friday, June 18, 1937, a game the Phillies led 7-2 going into the bottom of the seventh. The Cubs scored two in the seventh and one in the eighth and won it on a three-run walkoff triple by Augie Galan. (The Phillies were a pretty bad team in 1937, going 61-92.)
Several other Phillies are identifiable by number in this film and you can check those out here. (No. 50, not listed, is coach Hans Lobert.) There are also a couple of close-ups of Phillies players and unfortunately, I can’t identify them.
Lastly, the shot at the end of the film shows one of the “Doublemint twins” who were atop the old Wrigley scoreboard at that time. Thanks again to Flagstaff Films for posting these great videos.