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Cubs historical sleuthing: Tyler Houston edition

Let’s remember a guy!

Photo by Ronald C. Modra/Getty Images

I found this photo while I was looking for something else, and I like this one in particular because it’s a fairly recent photo that still needs to have an exact date sleuthed. Further, with it being a specific play, we can definitely narrow this down fairly quickly.

Getty Images says:

Tyler Houston #7 of the Chicago Cubs trying to tag Bret Boone #24 of the Atlanta Braves during a game in Wrigley Field in May 1999 in Chicago, Illinois.

(Illinois was misspelled above, I fixed it.)

There were just two games in May 1999 in which Tyler Houston played third base, at Wrigley Field, against the Braves. I checked the play-by-play for both, and didn’t have to look too long before I found it.

This play happened in the top of the first inning Saturday, May 15, 1999. With one out, Bret Boone doubled to right and was thrown out at third, Sammy Sosa to Mark Grace to Houston. As is the case with many more recent entries in the sleuthing series, we have video of this play:

The Cubs won this game 5-1. Henry Rodriguez’ two-run homer (off Greg Maddux!) highlighted a three-run first inning.

The Cubs had gotten off to a slow start that year, but went over .500 at 17-16 with this win. They were five games out of first place. After that they went on a 15-6 run and were 32-23, one game out of first place on June 8.

What followed was one of the most epic collapses in Cubs history. They then lost five straight and 10 of 11 and overall from that 32-23 start went 35-72, by far the worst record in baseball over that span. They lost 95 games and manager Jim Riggleman was fired.