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Wrigley Field historical sleuthing: Tommy Lasorda edition

The former Dodgers manager passed away, aged 93.

Longtime Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda passed away late Thursday, aged 93. The Cubs issued the following statement:

“Tommy positively influenced countless players from all over the world and proudly represented the game of baseball across the country and abroad,” said Chicago Cubs Executive Chairman Tom Ricketts. “He was known to always bleed ‘Dodger Blue,’ and today we mourn alongside the Dodgers and their passionate fans. Tommy’s accomplishments throughout the game will never be forgotten.”

The Cubs also tweeted the photo shown above, of Lasorda at Wrigley, along with some others:

So, I thought I’d do some sleuthing. (H/T to Bruce Miles for calling my attention to the photo.)

First, Lasorda is wearing a patch on his jersey. That patch is for the 30th anniversary of Dodger Stadium, so that dates it to 1992.

In 1992, the National League still had only 12 teams in two six-team divisions, so the Dodgers were at Wrigley Field for two series. The first series happened May 29-31, a Friday-Saturday-Sunday series, all day games; the second, August 31 and September 1-2, a night game and two day games.

That doesn’t speicifically help, but the player lying on the grass near the dugout does. No. 12 is Dave Anderson, who was a spare-part infielder for the Dodgers from 1983-92.

Anderson didn’t play from August 21 through September 8, a 15-day gap. This article confirms he was on the 15-day disabled list during that time and so he wouldn’t have been at Wrigley for that second series.

So it has to be the first series. But which game?

That’s easy. You can see the American League side of the scoreboard and all the games are shown as night games. That has to be the Friday date; there were day games in the A.L. on the other two dates.

The scoreboard clock reads 12:45. In 1992 some Friday games started at 1:20 and some at 2:20. Off to the Tribune archive, which confirmed that particular Friday game started at 2:20. That would make sense; at 12:45 for a 1:20 game, batting practice would have been over.

So there you have it: Tommy Lasorda at Wrigley Field at 12:45 p.m., Friday, May 29, 1992. I don’t know who the man Lasorda is talking to is, but you likely recognize longtime Chicago sportswriter, later MLB historian Jerome Holtzman in the background. If you recognize the other man, let us know who he is.

The Dodgers won the game that day 1-0; Ramon Martinez (Pedro’s older brother) threw a three-hit shutout.

Rest in peace, Tommy.