Wrigley Field Centennial -- big mistake on mural

It's been a while since I've posted a blog. This is because every free moment has been taken up with finishing a book project. I've already blown the book's deadline.

However, this same book project made it possible for me to notice a rather significant error on one of the murals that the Cubs have mounted onto the red brick exterior walls along Sheffield and Waveland Avenues. I've advised the Cubs of the error.

But let's have some fun with it!

This post will show all 11 murals. Can you spot the mistake? If so, post it in the comments below, or send me an email. My address is fesullivan@comcast.net.

The murals are very nice. They're fun to check out if you have to stand in line waiting to get into the bleachers. It's also fun to take a leisurely stroll along Sheffield and Waveland when there is no game to study the cool historic photographs and artifacts. I stood in line admiring the murals on April 23 while waiting to get into the Centennial Game through Gate K. I was staring at one of the murals when it hit me right between the eyes like a line drive foul ball when you're paying more attention to your beer than the game.

It was just plain wrong.

At this juncture I'd like to point out that I have been in the graphic arts industry since 1980. Mistakes are inevitable. In fact, I am very confident that the book I am now finishing is loaded with errors, in spite of being proofed by me at least half a dozen times, other editors another three or four times, wife of admin at least three times, and a baseball scholar once. So I have nothing but sympathy for these kinds of errors.

Nonetheless, it is there for all to see right there on the Wrigley Field red brick outer wall. Let's take a look . I apologize for any mistakes I've made in reporting the photo captions!

I'll follow up in my next blog, which I'll post in a few days, after I hear from you. I'll follow up even if I hear from nobody.

I'll give a free signed copy of my book Waiting for the Cubs to the first 5 readers who correctly identify the error.  This is not a prize, so I think it's okay for me to offer this.


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  • Tough to see cuz the pictures are kinda small. is it in 1/1 on bottom left?

  • Nope. Thanks for the reply, tho!

  • The guy in the upper left-hand photo is wearing Dockers pants.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Ha! Somebody else said they saw Sammy Sosa penciled in on the 1929 scorecard!

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    Hmm...well FDR wasn't President in 1932...

  • In reply to Dennis Sage:

    That's a great one! FDR wasn't even elected yet -- the election took place on November 8, 1932. By then the Cubs had long since been swept by the Yankees. So we actually see Democratic candidate FDR at that game. It's not the mistake I caught, tho. An argument could be made that FDR eventually became President of the U.S., so the caption is technically accurate ... but I'm with you. It's not entirely correct.

  • Pretty nitpicky, but picture 2, section 3 mispells the word logo. It says Cubs log c 1970...

  • In reply to Charodej:

    I think there was a problem with the resolution you saw. I checked the hi res image and it says "logo." But thanks! See anything else?

  • Are you thinking World's Series is a mistake? I think that's how it was written back then, though.

  • In reply to johnpseudonym:

    Hold it ... is that a Brewer's patch?

  • In reply to johnpseudonym:

    No, it's a 1951 national league 75th anniversary patch. It's not a team patch. How about that?

  • In reply to johnpseudonym:

    Don't know about the patch! That would take some further investigation.

  • In reply to johnpseudonym:

    You're so right! Found a shot of a Pirate wearing the patch here:

    http://baseballresearcher.blogspot.com/2011_09_01_archive.html

  • In reply to johnpseudonym:

    It was how it was spelled. The Yankees also spelled it that way on their 1932 "World's" Series scorecards for the New York games.

  • That is a Chicago Bears C, on the logo, not a Chicago Cubs C.

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    In the 1932 World Series, temporary bleacher were built over both Waveland & Sheffield, they are not visible in the picture of the kids in the tree in mural #3

  • In reply to Clark Passino:

    This isn't the error I found, but I think you're right. I believe they built temporary stands over the streets in 1929, 1932, and 1935. There are clearly no temporary bleachers in that shot. In fact, if you look at it, it has a kind of lazy afternoon, nothing special going on kind of feeling to it. Hardly the intensity of a World Series game! Great observation!

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    Fans celebrate Hartnett's shot pic. It was dark out when he hit the homer and it is clearly light out in the picture!

  • In reply to Mike Z:

    This is a tough one. The photographer who shot Hartnett running the bases, to the left of the shot you are referencing, used flash. However, if there was enough light to continue playing baseball, there would have been enough light for a shot without flash depending on shutter speed, aperture setting and speed of the film (or glass plate). And when the shot was printed, the lab technician could have manipulated the exposure to lighten it. Those two shots look like two different moments in time entirely, don't they?

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    In reply to Floyd Sullivan:

    Yes they do!

  • All American Girls Professional Baseball League Practice played in the 1940's

  • In reply to azjeffv:

    There's no date on that shot, so I think it might be okay.

  • The picture of Wrigley for the 1945 World Series is actually Opening Day 1946?

  • In reply to waynek:

    I don't think so. The Marquee says they were to play Detroit, an American League team -- and the team they played in the 1945 World Series. They wouldn't have played an American League team on Opening Day back then. Inter-league play was still in baseball's future.

  • Mural 1
    #2 - not from World Series, fans weren't on playing field.
    #6 - photo is from 1931, not 1929

    Mural 2
    #5 - patch is NL patch, not a Cubs patch

    Mural 3
    #1 - Kids in trees are not from World Series - temporary bleacher would have filled the street

    Mural 10
    #1 - Photo of Lindbergh is from Comiskey Park
    #2 - FDR was Gov of New York, not President

  • In reply to Lewis26:

    BINGO!!! The shot of Lindbergh was indeed taken at Comiskey Park. I'm going to post a blog this afternoon that goes into a little bit more detail.

    Your other observations look good, too, except the one that you yourself took back about Mural 1. Also on Mural 1, the Chicago History Museum caption for that image matches. It's from the Daily News collection. Most of those negatives have some kind of information that the photographer, or lab tech, marked on the glass plate. This one just says "Cubs Park." Perhaps he was referencing the ballpark before it was renamed Wrigley Field in 1926? Or perhaps he use "Cubs Park" as shorthand, or a nickname, as was used for decades, and still is once in a while.

    Would you like a book? Email me your address!

  • Scratch Mural 1, number 6 ... the photo could be from '29

  • Pic 5 of Wrigley is wrong. Whats the structure on top?

  • In reply to bradford68:

    my bad, guess it has always been there just dont think ive seen it without the beer garden in front.

  • In reply to bradford68:

    Another reader emailed and said that the photo in question is actually a composite of two or more shots printed together and retouched. That's why the top of the facade looks strange.

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    Is that panoramic photo not even Wrigley Field?

    (Also, the FDR caption should have named him as then-Governor of New York.)

  • In reply to JoyceFromLuella:

    Thanks for your comments! Both are covered above.

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    Looks like a pic in Mural 6 might be reversed. Hard to see but I think the writing is backwards

  • In reply to Patrick McGovern:

    Got your email, too. Thanks again. Here's the reply I sent you ...

    Thanks for your response! The writing you see is a marking on the actual glass plate negative. This was common for a photographer, or newspaper lab technician, to do after the negatives were processed. The writing would have been scribble on the glass backing so as not to harm the emulsion. Then, when printed, the scribbling would look flopped. The photo itself is okay.

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    I'm gonna try again. In the last picture, the second pitcher from the left is listed as "Jim Vaughn." His name was James, but he was really known as Hippo Vaughn, right?

  • In reply to JoyceFromLuella:

    Right! It's not an error, but it ain't right either! He should have captioned "Hippo." It's like calling Gabby Hartnett "Charlie"!

  • In Mural 4, the ladies practicing is not really a pic from the 1930s, it is actually a picture of Madonna during the filming of "A League of Our Own."

  • In reply to Green Sunglasses:

    Ha! Couldn't be Madonna, though. She would never let her face be photographed in shadows.

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    No brainer, it's Pic 5, so obvious. Rather not give it away to others but the key is to look up.

  • I think pic 5 is OK - it's a real pic.
    First, the Cubs and Tigers split the first two games of the World Series, so the caption of "Oct. 4-5-6" is correct and the game on Oct. 6 would have been certain by the first game in Chicago on October 4.

    Second, the street is the old N. Seminary Ave. which used to cut close to the Field. Somehow the street was vacated, and the land is now part of the parking lot there.
    At some point, part of the old N. Seminary Ave was also taken over by the property at the Cubby Bear as well. The old street now runs through the Cubby Bear.

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    Great work, Floyd. But by going public with this, I'm guessing Cubbie management won't be inviting you to a game any time soon!

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