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Cubs historical sleuthing: 1920s edition

Yes, we can go back that far to find the year, although not the specific game.

Photo by Chicago History Museum/Getty Images

Getty Images says:

Chicago Cubs baseball player Sparky Adams crossing home plate and scoring during a game at Weeghman Park, Chicago, Illinois, 1922. Weeghman Park was renamed Wrigley Field in 1927.

Let’s correct the obviously wrong things there first. Weeghman Park was the original name of Wrigley Field when it was built in 1914. The Cubs moved there in 1916, and when the Wrigley family completed its purchase of the team in 1920, it became known as Cubs Park. It was renamed Wrigley Field in 1926.

So in 1922, it would have been known as Cubs Park.

But this isn’t 1922, and I know that because that’s definitely Sparky Adams crossing the plate, and 1922 was his first MLB season. He played in just 11 games that year and scored five runs, none of which were at home.

The final confirmation that this is not 1922: That’s not the uniform the Cubs wore in 1922. Here are the uniforms the Cubs wore from 1922-27, the years Adams played for the Cubs (excluding ‘22, when that could have .

It’s not 1927, either, because the upper deck at Wrigley Field was completed that year and there’s no upper deck visible.

So now we have this narrowed down to 1923-26, and checking the uniform Adams is wearing in this photo, it has to be 1924. In 1923, the jersey didn’t have piping on the front. In 1925, the jersey had a patch (not visible here), and in 1926 and 1927 the socks had stripes on them.

This is where I reach a dead end. I can’t tell who the opposing team is here, and so I can only narrow this down to these 28 games in which Sparky Adams scored a run for the Cubs at home in 1924. If you think you can figure out which run this is, let us know.

Adams was a middle infielder who had some decent years for the Cubs. He provided quite a bit of value, though, because after the 1927 season he was traded (along with Pete Scott) to the Pirates for Kiki Cuyler, who became a big star and played in two World Series for the Cubs in 1929 and 1932. Cuyler was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1968.

That’s pretty good sleuthing for a nearly 100-year-old photo, I’d say.