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Wrigley Field historical sleuthing: The obvious edition

The dates are just one of the interesting things about this photo.

There really isn’t much sleuthing needed to find out when this photo was taken, since dates are clearly listed on the famed Wrigley Field marquee.

Since the era was clear from the cars and the way people were dressed (1970s-1980s), I just looked up Cubs vs. Braves games from that time period to see which year matched.

1980 was the year during this time frame where the Cubs played the Braves at Wrigley June 13, 14 and 15.

Right there is a story, because the 64-98 Cubs of 1980 weren’t very good at home, going just 37-44. They won just eight series all year at Wrigley, and this was one of them. The Braves won the June 13 game 7-6, despite the Cubs having the tying and winning runs on base in the bottom of the ninth. The Cubs won 10-5 June 14 and 4-1 June 15. The Braves finished over .500 that year, just barely at 81-80.

But those aren’t the most interesting things about this nearly 40-year-old photo, and yes, it is frightening to me to realize that 1980 is 40 years ago.

The streetscape is a great snapshot of the time. Near the sign that reads “box seats for all games” (yes, all in lower case for some reason) there’s a couple emblematic of the time, a woman with big hair next to a muscular man in a tank top and fairly short shorts. Then there’s a man in the right foreground with a hairstyle that seems right out of 1960. The station wagon with the fake wood-grain paneling was a car commonly seen in those days — looks like a Chevy.

And there are two sets of Clark & Addison street signs visible, one in the green-and-white that was becoming more common in those days and eventually took over completely, one in the yellow-and-black that had first been installed in Chicago in 1948.

You can also see the ticket booths that were at the main entrance in those days — yes, you could go right up, buy a ticket and walk right into the ballpark, except for bleachers. Bleacher tickets were only for sale at the bleacher gate. They cost $2 in 1980; top-priced box seats were $6.50.

Just a snapshot in time. A larger version of the photo above is below, for an even larger version click here.