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Cubs historical sleuthing: Mid 1980s edition

Another snapshot in time.

The photo above is another BCB reader’s first Cubs game, though unlike this photo I posted last week, reader Steve Sher doesn’t appear in it.

Instead, we see a frozen moment from Cubs history.

What do we know about this moment?

Fortunately, the photo includes a shot of the mini-scoreboard on the facade of the left-field upper deck. The Cubs are leading the Phillies 4-2 and are batting in the bottom of the fourth inning, with two out and No. 34 at bat.

Given the uniforms the team is wearing, this can be only one player at the plate — Steve Trout.

Trout started nine games against the Phillies at Wrigley Field in his tenure with the Cubs. We can, however, immediately eliminate five of them because either the Cubs didn’t score at least four runs in those five, or the Phillies didn’t score at least two, or both.

Of the remaining four, there is only one game and situation that matches all the conditions I noted above: Sunday, September 29, 1985. It was the final weekend home game that season; the Cubs then played a three-game set at Wrigley against the Pirates and finished up in St. Louis.

The result of that at-bat by Trout was a ground ball to second, ending the inning.

Trout threw a complete game and the Cubs won 6-2. Oddly, Trout allowed seven hits and two walks, but just the two runs (one earned) and didn’t strike out anyone.

Another interesting note: Richie Hebner, who was featured in another sleuthing post last week, made his final big-league start that day (he appeared in two other games later as a sub). He homered in the eighth inning, his last MLB home run.

The rest of the people on the field clearly visible in the photo: Cubs first base coach John Vukovich, Mike Schmidt of the Phillies (playing first base!), Phillies pitcher Freddie Toliver and catcher Ozzie Virgil, and umpires Paul Runge (plate) and Jim Quick (first base). Attendance that afternoon: 26,641.