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Cubs historical sleuthing: More color film from 1937

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Here are more great old color videos from Flagstaff Films.

Flagstaff Films

George Roy, who runs Flagstaff Films, sent me a couple more 1937 videos from Wrigley Field.

These show the Cubs during pre-game warmups (apparently). One thing that’s obvious from these great old color films is that those Cubs, like the current edition, definitely had fun playing baseball.

Here are the latest two videos:

One interesting thing you can see in these videos is what I pulled out for the still photo at the top. There’s a distance marker on the wall in left field that reads 372 feet. I don’t think I had ever noticed that before.

As far as ID’ing the players, I sent these videos to Mike Bojanowski, who sent back this:

I can’t get everybody, but am pretty confident about most. It’s definitely 1937, for reasons which will become apparent.

Part 1

The first three are all Ripper Collins, he was apparently quite a mugger for the camera.

:13 Bill Lee.

:20 must be a mascot, he is not the official bat boy, I found pictures of him.

:24 pretty sure this is John Bottarini, backup catcher, ‘37 was his one and only MLB season.

:30 Curt Davis.

:35 Dutch Meyer.

:39 Phil Cavarretta.

Part 2

:01 This, and the group of three shown after, is the same scene from different angles, the first two are definitely Stan Hack and Frank Demaree, the third eludes me, the fourth might be Ken O’Dea.

:08 Gabby Hartnett.

:18 l-r, Billy Jurges and Demaree.

:26 Charlie Grimm.

:31 Demaree.

:36 Hartnett.

:42 Billy Herman.

27 men played for the 1937 Cubs. That’s 12 of them in these videos, plus the manager (Grimm).

Bottarini played in only 26 games, starting just seven of them, but based on his game logs, he was with the team the entire season.

As far as any exact date for these films, it’s impossible to tell. The trees in the background are in full bloom and the players don’t appear to be wearing cold-weather gear, so this would have to date from around mid-May through the end of the season.

Whenever Flagstaff Films gets more of these, I’ll post them. They’re a great look back at the history of the Cubs from more than 80 years ago.