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Cubs historical sleuthing: Tom Trebelhorn edition

This one got narrowed down quickly.

Getty Images

Getty Images says:

Manager Tom Trebelhorn #41 of the Chicago Cubs argues with an umpire during an Major League Baseball game against the New York Mets circa 1994 at Shea Stadium in the Queens borough of New York City.

Well, that made this one pretty easy. Yes, that’s obviously Trebelhorn — and he managed the Cubs for only one season, the strike-reduced 1994 season, so it has to be that year.

It’s Shea Stadium — but it’s also some sort of special event day, because there’s bunting on the wall. That would make it either Opening Day or a holiday.

The umpire is Charlie Williams, who was a MLB umpire from 1978-2001. The only game in which Williams was the plate umpire (and you can see his chest protector, he’s obviously the plate ump for this game) for a Cubs/Mets game at Shea in 1994 was their home opener, played on Monday, April 11, 1994.

This argument was over a disputed HBP on the Mets’ Ryan Thompson by Jose Bautista of the Cubs in the eighth inning. We have video! (It’s from the Mets’ broadcast.)

This is something that would be sent to replay review in modern baseball. Williams called the ball foul, then reversed himself. Most likely, the review crew would rule the original call was correct and make it a foul ball.

You can see in the video that the crew chief, John McSherry, joined in the discussion and we have a photo of that, too:

Chicago Cubs v New York Mets Getty Images

In any case, the next hitter, Kelly Stinnett, hit into a double play. Trebelhorn then summoned Dan Plesac to face Joe Orsulak, who flied out to end the inning.

The Cubs won the game 9-5. Steve Buechele hit a three-run homer in a six-run Cubs third inning.

The Cubs were 3-4 after this win, but then lost 14 of their next 17. That was the year the Cubs lost their first 12 home games, not winning at Wrigley until a 5-2 win over the Reds on May 4. By then Trebelhorn had already met Cubs fans outside the firehouse on Waveland after a loss to the Rockies.

Quite the year, 1994. The Cubs had muddled along to a 48-56 record in early August, then lost eight of nine before the players’ strike ended that season. Trebelhorn was fired after the season and never managed in the major leagues again, though he was a MLB coach with the Orioles from 2001-07.