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Wrigley Field historical sleuthing: The broadcast booth

These two men will look very familiar to those of “a certain age.”

You young’uns might not recognize both the men in this photo, but to those of us who grew up in the 1960s, we all instantly know Lloyd Pettit and Jack Brickhouse, who shared WGN-TV’s Cubs broadcasting duties during that decade. Pettit was also the voice of the Chicago Blackhawks on WGN-TV through 1970.

I found this photo here, a brochure titled “The Wonderful World of WGN,” obviously created to help market the station’s various broadcasts. It mentions many shows and personalities connected with the station, but there’s no date, so no clue there.

You can see the Astroturf cover on the center field hitters’ background. That was installed in 1967. You can also see on the Wrigley scoreboard room for just five games on each side. The board was modified for the 1969 expansion to have room for six games on each side.

So that narrows it down some — either 1967 or 1968.

The board isn’t really readable; all we know is that this is a summer afternoon with the ivy in full bloom and a full house (at least in the bleachers).

The next clue is the scorecard in Brickhouse’s hand:

You can’t really read the words but you don’t have to. This format on the Wrigley scorecard was used in just one year: 1968. Here’s what the top of the Wrigley scorecard looked like from 1967-70.





So the Cubs changed the scorecard format from a single line to two in 1968 and 1969, and went back to the single line in 1970.

It’s clear enough from the WGN image that the scorecard Jack Brickhouse is holding has a circular image, not a rectangular image, so it has to be 1968. Further, as previously noted, this can’t be 1969 because there were only five game slots per side on the scoreboard.

Brickhouse’s card shows the Cubs playing a team from a city with two parts to its name. It’s not real clear, but clear enough that it shows “ST. LOUIS CARDINALS,” not “SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS” or “LOS ANGELES DODGERS.”

So, this was taken at a 1968 game against the Cardinals. But when?

The teams played two April games — can’t possibly be those.

They next met on a weekend in June, Friday 6/27, Saturday 6/28 and Sunday 6/29. Except the crowd on that Friday, the only day there would have been all night games for other teams, was too small for what’s shown (17,433).

Then the teams played a four game series Monday 8/12 through Thursday 8/15. On 8/12, not all teams were playing and there isn’t a “NO GAME” to be seen on the board. On 8/14 and 8/15, there were other day games.

On Tuesday 8/13, the White Sox were at Boston playing a day game (as shown), all the other games that day were at night.

So this photo was taken shortly before game time Tuesday, August 13, 1968. Attendance that afternoon was 35,198 (matching the photo) and the Cubs won the game 10-3. Fergie Jenkins threw a complete game, striking out 12, and Ron Santo homered.