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Cubs historical sleuthing: Retail edition

You can buy this historically accurate Wrigley board replica.

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Recently, I came across this ad from the Fathead company. They sell things you can stick to walls, mainly related to sports, while not ruining the wall. The photo above is what’s in the ad, a replica of the Wrigley Field scoreboard, with teams and pitchers listed.

Here’s the entire image:


So, naturally, I had to figure out what date that was, if it indeed was based on a real date (some of the Wrigley replica boards sold aren’t).

Arizona is shown on the board, so it has to be 1998 or later. (We don’t see the Marlins, so we don’t know if it says MIAMI or FLORIDA, so can’t narrow it down that way.)

Just three starting pitchers for the Cubs since 1998 have worn No. 41: Justin Germano (2012), John Lackey (2016-17) and Adrian Sampson (2022).

I started with Lackey, to see if he had started any games against the Reds at Wrigley where the Reds starter wore No. 31.

Paydirt. On Wednesday, April 13, 2016, Lackey started against the Reds’ Alfredo Simon at Wrigley Field. Simon wore No. 31. All the other matchups shown here match that date. It was, as it turns out, Lackey’s first start at Wrigley as a Cub.

There are only two oddities about the pitchers shown on the board and the numbers as listed on the Wrigley Field scorecard for that day. That day’s Braves starter is listed on the the board as 15 (Dan Winkler on the card). The actual starter was Matt Wisler (16 on the card). This is possibly just a mistake by the board operator that could have been corrected before the game. The clock reads 3:44 — if this is from a photo, it must have been taken pre-game, as that was a 7:05 p.m. night game start.

The Cubs won that game 9-2. They scored five runs in the first inning and Simon did not finish the inning. Lackey threw 6⅔ innings and struck out seven. Kris Bryant homered, his first of what would be a career-high 39 home runs that year, his MVP season.

So, if you want to buy this item, it’s from a Cubs win in 2016. No, Fathead did not pay me to do this article; just came across the ad and thought it was an interesting slice of Cubs history.