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Cubs historical sleuthing: Another Ryne Sandberg photo

This was a very typical Ryno pose from the 1980s. But when?

Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Getty Images says:

Ryne Sandberg of the Chicago Cubs fields during an MLB game at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois during the 1988 season.

All right, that narrows it down pretty well. No. 14 in the photo is Andres Thomas of the Atlanta Braves — that’s definitely a Braves uniform. Thomas played for the Braves from 1985-90, and just to make sure the year was probably correct I checked the No. 14 for the Braves prior to 1985. That was Matt Sinatro, a catcher who never played at Wrigley Field. (Although Sinatro later became a Cubs coach under Lou Piniella from 2007-10 and he and Lou famously got lost trying to drive to Cincinnati in 2008.)

Anyway, Andres Thomas. He played in six games at Wrigley Field in 1988. In two of them he did not reach base and in a third he wasn’t on base except for a walk where he didn’t get past first base (and was not involved in a force play).

So it was on to a three-game Cubs/Braves series in August 1988.

This play happened in the top of the third inning Friday, August 19, 1988. Thomas had singled with one out, and was erased at second base on a double-play ball hit by Dion James. What you see here is Sandberg’s pivot and throw to first base to complete the double play.

The Cubs won this game, which went back-and-forth several times, 8-7. They had taken a 7-6 lead in the bottom of the eighth, but Les Lancaster and Frank DiPino allowed the Braves to tie the game 7-7 in the top of the ninth.

In the bottom of the ninth, Mitch Webster singled with one out and then Sandberg and Mark Grace walked to load the bases. The Cubs won it on a single by Andre Dawson.