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There’s a replica scorecard of the 26-23 game on display at Wrigley. Here’s how it was created

The highest-scoring game in MLB history is commemorated in a display in the Wrigley Field bleachers.

The 1922 scorecard is in the upper right of this display case, which is on the Wrigley bleacher concourse beneath the left-field bleachers
Al Yellon

Longtime readers of BCB will be familiar with my occasional articles discussing and illustrating past Cubs scorecards and programs, this one, for example. The Cubs noticed them as well, and beginning in 2013, I made digital contributions to their archives from items in my personal collection. Much of the imagery of early cards they have since used at Wrigley Field and in their publications and other media are those I’ve provided.

In April 2016 they approached me with a request for the scorecard of the famous game of August 25, 1922, in which the Cubs and Phillies set the still-standing major-league record of 49 combined runs, resulting in a 26-23 Cubs victory. This was to be used in one of the history displays then being installed in the lower concourse of the bleachers.

I was given only two days to supply it, if I could.

To my knowledge, and I’ve been collecting for more than 40 years, no scored or unscored original program of that specific game now exists. I offered to attempt a digital composite using original materials as far as possible, and the Cubs agreed. That composite is what is displayed in the history case, shown above, and this is how it was done.

I had one original 1922 program in my collection, a game vs. the Cardinals from earlier in that season.

1922 programs of any date are rarities. A fact that seems to have been lost to memory is that ‘22 was the worst year of a sharp, post-World War I, economic recession/depression (phrase it to suit yourself). Attendances were meager (7,000 for this game), ephemera from that period is correspondingly scarce. The Roaring Twenties did not roar for the entire decade. Numismatists among the readership will know that only cents (in limited quantity, and at only one of the three mints), a small commemorative issue, silver dollars, and double-eagles were coined that year. There was no new demand even for the smallest pocket change.

The scorecard inserts from my original 1922 program are:

The procedure requires scanning the originals, removing the material unrelated to August 25, and replacing that material with the “correct” stuff. It’s also necessary to clean, straighten, and otherwise repair the flaws in the original in order to make an attractive presentation. All such work was done in Photoshop. I will use the Philadelphia card for an example, as it required the most work.

After removing the Cardinals material, you have this:

Now the research must be done, to reproduce the two August 1922 rosters and lineups in properly matching typeface. The result is an accurate blank card on which the game action can be penciled. Some educated license is necessary, of course; without the exact originals it is impossible to know precisely how the individual players were enumerated in the printed roster lists.

The result, along with additional cleaning, straightening, and repairing:

Now the game action can be penciled. I used Retrosheet for the play-by-play. With some finishing touches for appearance, and some small heroics from a friend in the business who runs a first-class press, here’s the final result, just inside the deadline:

Many thanks for all attention.