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Cubs historical sleuthing: Tinker and Evers edition

Here’s a bit of Cubs history that’s been nearly forgotten. So, let’s remember — and maybe solve a mystery.

Credit where it’s due, I found this photo at this link on the Baseball History Comes Alive site. I had never seen it before.

It was taken at an Old Timers’ event at Wrigley Field, and it didn’t take too much sleuthing to find the date. Many of the players from the 1907 Cubs World Series champs reunited for ceremonies at Wrigley on June 23, 1937, before a game against the Giants. (The Cubs wound up losing the game 8-4.) Incidentally, the Tribune reported that the old time Cubs players “donned Cubs uniforms and cavorted in an infield drill before the ... game.”

If only there were photos or old film of that.

Anyway, it was fairly well known that years before, the famous Cubs double-play combination of Joe Tinker and Johnny Evers had had a falling out because:

On September 14, 1905, Tinker and Evers engaged in a fistfight on the field because, the story goes, “Evers had taken a cab to the stadium and left his teammates behind in the hotel lobby.”

Seems a silly thing to have a fight over, but apart from necessary communications regarding play on the field, the two didn’t speak to each other the rest of their baseball careers.

When this Old Timers event was scheduled, the men met at a Chicago hotel. At the time they hadn’t even seen each other in 14 years.

Their bitter feud had mellowed and when the met in a Chicago hotel, and after a moment’s hesitation, they threw their arms around each other and cried.

That’s a happy ending, at least. Both men, along with Frank Chance, were inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1947. Evers had died the previous year; Tinker died in 1948.

Chance had passed away years before, in 1924, from the aftereffects of brain injuries likely suffered from a myriad of beanings he’d had during his playing career. He was hit by a pitch 137 times as a player, which was the franchise record until Anthony Rizzo broke it in 2019.

So now we know the date of this photo, and a bit about the friendship between Tinker and Evers.

What we don’t know is this. The Tribune article noting the Old Timers event said that the plaque shown was to be “mounted at Wrigley Field.”

Where’s that plaque now?