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Cubs historical sleuthing: A random event at Dodger Stadium

It’s just a throw to first. But it was easy to find out when.

Photo by Bernstein Associates/Getty Images

Getty Images says:

Mark Grace #17 of the Chicago Cubs catches the throw against the Los Angeles Dodgers during a May 1989 game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.

That gives two details — it’s at Dodger Stadium and it’s in May 1989.

Those are enough to tell us when this happened.

The baserunner is Jeff Hamilton, who played for the Dodgers from 1986-91. Presuming the “May 1989” is correct, Hamilton played in two games of a three-game series between the Cubs and Dodgers in Los Angeles that month.

One of them was a night game, so that one’s out.

In the other, an afternoon contest on Sunday, May 7, 1989, Hamilton entered the game with one out in the bottom of the eighth to bat for Orel Hershiser. Mitch Williams, again in the game for a multi-inning save with a 4-2 lead, hit Hamilton on a 1-2 count. (“Wild Thing” indeed.)

Williams then made at least one throw over to keep Hamilton close. That’s what we see in the photo at the top of this post. And once again, we have video of this play!

The next two hitters flied out to end the inning. Then Williams allowed a two-out single in the ninth but retired Rick Dempsey to end the game with the Cubs winning 4-2.

This is from the same game as a previous entry in this series, when we saw Damon Berryhill not able to handle a throw to the plate from Shawon Dunston. The photographers had a busy day that afternoon.