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Cubs historical sleuthing: A 1950s spring training mystery

Can you identify these players?

Exactly a year ago, March 10, 2021, I posted this sleuthing article with a photo from a Cubs/Orioles spring training game on that date in 1956.

Given the look and location of the photo posted above, I believe it was taken on the same date, which is why I’m posting this article again on March 10.

Here’s the full photo:

Now, that’s obviously Ernie Banks in the foreground.

What I have tried to figure out — and have not been able to — is the identity of the two players in the background.

In 1956, No. 5 was worn by Frank Kellert and No. 43 by Walt “Moose” Moryn. Both those players are listed as 6-2. But the two players in the photo don’t look like they’re the same height. It’s true that photo angles can be deceiving, though, so maybe they are and that’s Kellert and Moryn.

On the other hand... for many years the Cubs re-used uniforms from the previous year in spring training. In 1955, No. 5 was worn by a player named Vern Morgan. But per his minor league log, it doesn’t look like Morgan was with the Cubs at all in 1956. And No. 43 was worn by a pitcher named Harry Perkowski in 1955. Perkowski was in the Cubs organization through 1958.

So I throw this one open to you, the BCB reader. Who are the two Cubs players shown here behind Ernie Banks?