clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cubs historical sleuthing: Jackie Robinson edition

The famed Dodger star is scoring a run. But when?

Getty Images

Getty Images says:

This tenth inning home plate action shows the Dodgers’ winning run, which was to trounce the Chicago Cubs, 60 to 5. Photo shows Jackie Robinson as he nears home-plate on a short fly by Gil Hodges to left field with the bases loaded. Catcher Toby Atwell leans forward awaiting the arrival of the ball that would have put Robinson out.

Well, obviously this game did not end with a score of 60-5, that’s a typo. Thought I’d leave it in for amusement value.

Anyway, operating under the assumption this was a 6-5 walkoff win for the Dodgers — they’re wearing white uniforms, so they must have been the home team — I did some searching.

Toby Atwell was a Cubs catcher in 1952 and part of 1953, until he was included in the 10 — yes, ten! — player deal that brought Ralph Kiner to the Cubs in June.

There were two 6-5 losses to the Dodgers in which Atwell participated for the Cubs, but the only one that matches this photo happened Wednesday, June 18, 1952.

The Cubs actually trailed 4-2 in this game going into the ninth inning. An outfielder named Bob Addis, who played in 92 games for the Cubs in ‘52, was sent up to bat for Roy Smalley with two men on base and one out. He hit a three-run homer to give the Cubs a 5-4 lead!

But this was the 1950s Cubs, and the Dodgers were a very good team who would go on to win the NL pennant that year. They scored a run in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game and send it to extras.

In the 10th, Jackie Robinson led off with a walk and stole second. Roy Campanella, the next hitter, struck out but reached base on a dropped third strike, with Robinson taking third. Carl Furillo struck out and Duke Snider was intentionally walked to load the bases.

Gil Hodges hit a line drive to left, scoring Robinson with the winning run, which is what we see in the photo. No. 20 for the Cubs is pitcher Dutch Leonard, and No. 48 for the Dodgers is former Cub Andy Pafko, then a Dodgers outfielder, who was the on-deck hitter.

At the time of this game the Cubs were actually playing well. Despite the loss, they were 34-23, in third place 6½ games behind the high-flying Dodgers, who were 39-15. The Cubs would go on to finish .500 at 77-77, their only non-losing season between 1947 and 1962. Cubs outfielder Hank Sauer batted .270/.361/.531 and led the NL with 37 home runs and 121 RBI and was named league MVP.