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Cubs historical sleuthing: 1935 winning streak edition

Two clues came with the photo, and they were enough to narrow this down.

Photo by George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images

This series went up to about 1996 before I discovered that virtually all the photos after that in Getty Images’ archive were dated. I’ve helped out Getty with a number of these, sending them to an editor there to provide them with my sleuthing answers.

So, I decided to roll back to the earlier days of Cubs baseball to see if there had been more old photos added.

I found this one, which came with the following information:

32,000 excited fans watched as the Cubs trimmed the Giants here, sweeping with their sixteenth consecutive triumph.

The Cubs have won 16 straight only once in franchise history. That happened in 1935, with the streak eventually becoming a league-record 21. (It was the MLB record until Cleveland won 22 straight in 2017.)

There’s a bit more info that I found attached to this photo:

Baseball Player Galan During First Inning and Hitting the Dirt at Third Base

There’s only one problem with that headline. Presuming the game is the one noted in the first bit of info, it happened Thursday, September 19, 1935.

That’s definitely Galan. At first it looks like the number on his back is “1”, but look more closely — it’s “7”, which is what Galan wore that year. Also, the Giants third baseman, Travis Jackson, wore No. 5. It’s a bit hard to tell because the jersey has some folds in it, but that looks like a 5 to me.

This can’t be the first inning, though, because in that inning Galan led off with a single and scored on a double. There was no part of the play indicating he would have had a slide into third. The Cubs took a 2-0 lead in that inning.

In the second inning, though, Galan walked with two out and stole second. Then he advanced to third on what the PBP described as a “single to shortstop.” So I could see the shortstop possibly trying to make a play on Galan at third, but he was safe — you can see Jackson looking in the general direction of shortstop for a possible throw. Freddie Lindstrom grounded out to end the inning.

The Cubs won the game 6-1, and as noted, swept the Giants and won their 16th in a row. They led the Cardinals by 2½ games and their magic number to clinch the NL pennant stood at 7. Attendance was noted in the boxscore as 30,237 — the 32,000 figure likely was either an estimate or included free passes.

There aren’t a lot of action photos from almost 90 years ago, so it’s cool to find this one and be able to identify the exact moment.