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Cubs historical sleuthing: Opening Day edition

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This one was easy.

Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Getty Images has this to say about this photo:

Manager Leo Durocher #2 of the Chicago Cubs lines up during player introduction before the start of a Major League Baseball game against the San Francisco Giants circa 1968 at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California. Durocher managed the Cubs from 1966-72.

This is obviously a photo from Opening Day. Look at the bunting on the side walls of the stadium in this full view of the photo:

Since it’s Opening Day at Candlestick Park, all we have to do is look up when the Cubs opened the season at San Francisco during Durocher’s tenure as manager.

It happened only once, and in fact, it was Durocher’s very first game as Cubs manager, Tuesday, April 12, 1966. Thus “circa 1968” was close, but not accurate.

As it was traditional (still is) for the starting lineup in such games to line up behind the manager, that’s probably Ty Cline (who you read about here yesterday) visible behind Leo. Unfortunately, no other faces are visible behind Cline. This is also a good view of Candlestick Park before it was totally enclosed in 1971.

Cline scored the only Cubs run that afternoon after reaching on an error. There were only three hits by the Cubs that day off Juan Marichal, who threw a complete game, striking out eight. The Giants won 9-1, one of 103 Cubs defeats in that awful season.

Nice photo, though.