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Cubs historical sleuthing: The other Reuschel brother

Rick Reuschel’s older brother Paul also pitched for the Cubs. And one of the ways this photo was sleuthed was... facial hair.

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Photo by George Gojkovich/Getty Images

Getty Images supplied this caption to the photo of Paul Reuschel above:

Pitcher Paul Reuschel #43 of the Chicago Cubs pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during a game at Three Rivers Stadium circa 1975 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Now. I’ve checked a lot of Getty photos over the years and those that say they’re from “circa” a certain year are often... not from that year, as was the case for the sleuthing article I posted here yesterday.

However, I have simple evidence that shows that in this case, Getty is correct. The photo was taken in 1975.

How do I know that?

Paul Reuschel, Rick’s older brother, pitched for the Cubs from 1975-78. In June 1978 he was traded to Cleveland for someone named Dennis DeBarr, who never pitched in the majors for the Cubs.

In 1976, the Cubs wore a centennial patch for the team’s 100th anniversary on the left sleeve and a centennial patch for the 100th anniversary of the National League on the right sleeve. So it can’t be ‘76.

In 1977, he was clean-shaven. And after the trade to Cleveland in ‘78, he wore different glasses. You can see those things in these two photos. First, a ‘77 photo:

As confirmation, here’s an eBay link that shows Paul Reuschel clean-shaven in a 1977 photo.

This is a 1979 Topps card of Paul Reuschel, with the photo thus taken in 1978:

Anyway, there you have it. The photo at the top of this post had to be taken in 1975.

Fortunately, there is only one game in Paul Reuschel’s pitching log for 1975 against the Pirates in Pittsburgh. That happened Tuesday, September 9. Bill Bonham started the game and threw eight decent innings (four runs allowed), back when starters were generally not taken out with a lead. The Cubs led 6-4 going into the bottom of the ninth, but Bonham was touched up for a double and RBI single sandwiched around a strikeout and the Pirates had cut the lead to one.

Enter Paul Reuschel. He got Ed Ott to ground out and struck out Bill Robinson to end the game. In so doing he posted his fifth save of the season. On the pitching-challenged ‘75 Cubs, that ranked third on the team (Darold Knowles had 15 and Oscar Zamora 10).

So the photo is of Paul Reuschel pitching at Three Rivers Stadium on Tuesday, September 9, 1975. Just 7,346 watched that 6-5 Cubs win.