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Cubs historical sleuthing: Ron Cey edition

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Ron Cey hit 84 home runs for the Cubs. Here is one of them.

Getty Images

This photo came with the following caption information from Getty Images:

Chicago Cubs Ron Cey is welcomed at the plate after hitting a three run homer in the fourth inning of the Cubs-Pittsburgh Pirates game. Cey is greeted by teammate Leo Durham.

Of course, it’s actually “Leon” Durham, not “Leo,” but that’s the way it’s listed in Getty’s database.

All right, we can narrow this down pretty quickly. Ron Cey hit five home runs against the Pirates at Wrigley Field in his Cubs career. Two of them were in games in 1983 when he had only two RBI, so we can eliminate those, as we know from the caption that he had hit a three-run homer.

There are just three dates remaining: April 21, 1984, April 11, 1985 and October 3, 1985.

Sure enough, Cey hit a three-run homer off Jose DeLeon of the Pirates in the fourth inning Thursday, April 11, 1985. Durham greets him at the plate; Keith Moreland also scored on the blast, which gave the Cubs a 4-0 lead. The Cubs won the game 4-1 behind a three-hit complete game from Steve Trout; the Pirates run was unearned due to Trout’s own fielding error.

The Pirates catcher in the photo is Tony Pena, who was a mainstay in Pittsburgh from 1980-86 and who also played for the Cardinals, Red Sox, Indians, White Sox and Astros, and later managed the Royals from 2002-05, as well as spending 12 years as a Yankees coach from 2006-17.

The plate umpire shown in the photo is John Kibler.

Attendance on a coolish, 56-degree day at Wrigley Field was 10,049. The game ran just 2:09. The Cubs have played just two nine-inning games that short at Wrigley Field since 2007 (May 9, 2012 and May 23, 2017). It was a different time.