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Cubs historical sleuthing: It didn’t show up in the boxscore edition

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This looks like a run scoring, but it wasn’t.

Bettmann / Contributor

In this case, Getty Images provided a pretty good description of this play:

Dodger Jackie Robinson is shown crossing home plate in the 8th inning of this Dodger-Chicago game, as members of the Chicago Cubs rush in to argue with Umpire Goetz, who waved Robinson in from third thinking Cub pitcher Muncrief had balked. The Cubs claimed Furillo had stepped out of the box causing the pitcher to halt his delivery and were upheld by Umpire Reardon. Bad news for Dodger fans, Robinson was ordered back to third. But, when the game ended, it was good news for the Dodger fans with Brooklyn winning with 3-0.

Well, that’s what you are seeing: Jackie Robinson apparently scoring a run, only to have the run overruled by Beans Reardon, who was the third-base umpire. Larry Goetz, the plate umpire, had made the original call.

With that much of a description, it wasn’t hard to find the date of this game. It happened Monday, July 18, 1949 in front of 25,595 at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. It’s clearly a night game, given the shadows, and the boxscore link confirms that. The Dodgers did win 3-0.

Bob Muncrief had been a pretty good pitcher for the St. Louis Browns for several years in the 1940s, pitching for them in their one and only World Series in 1944. In what would become a typical acquisition for the Cubs in that era, trying to get an older player to recapture previous glory, they acquired Muncrief on waivers from the Pirates June 6, 1949, only a few weeks before this game. Muncrief pitched in only 34 games for the Cubs, posting a 4.56 ERA and 1.480 WHIP, and that year’s Cubs lost 93 games, at the time a franchise record.

This photo is also interesting because of the uniform Jackie Robinson is shown wearing. This article says the Dodgers wore those uniforms, with piping on the sleeves and pants, for home night games from 1944-48, but the Hall of Fame’s uniform database says they were worn only in 1948.

But clearly, from this photo they were worn at least once in 1949.