clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cubs historical sleuthing: Barry Bonds tagged out by Joe Girardi edition

Just when was this play at the plate?

Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Getty Images says:

Joe Girardi #7 of the Chicago Cubs tags out Barry Bonds #24 of the Pittsburgh Pirates during a Major League Baseball game circa 1992 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois.

That narrows it down a bit. The Pirates played nine games at Wrigley Field in 1992. Given that both players in this photo are wearing long sleeves, I suspected April, but a first quick scan of the April 1992 boxscores didn’t find it.

So I looked this up a different way: How many day games did Joe Girardi catch against the Pirates from 1989-92 at Wrigley Field?

The answer: 13. That’s out of 36 total Cubs/Pirates games at Wrigley in that time frame, so that narrowed it down further.

Finally, I did locate this play in an April 1992 game.

On Sunday, April 26, 1992, a 43-degree day at Wrigley (confirming the reason for long sleeves), Bonds walked leading off the top of the eighth. He stole second and advanced to third on a groundout. Here’s a photo of that stolen base:

Sports Illustrated via Getty Images

Then Steve Buechele — who was traded to the Cubs a couple of months later — came to bat and hit a ground ball to Cubs third baseman Luis Salazar. Salazar threw Bonds out at the plate.

That turned out to be an important play in this game. The Cubs trailed 4-2 at the time, but Mark Grace hit a two-run double in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game 4-4. The Cubs loaded the bases after that, but could not score further.

In the ninth, Grace led off with a walk. Ryne Sandberg bunted for a hit, and another bunt by Derrick May put the runners on second and third. Salazar was intentionally walked to load the bases, and then Girardi came to the plate and singled in the winning run for a walkoff victory.

The Pirates, I suppose, got the last laugh by winning the NL East that year. The Cubs finished fourth with a 78-84 record.

It’s hard to believe all that happened more than 30 years ago.