I found some old photos in a box.
Crappy, from an old point and shoot in the pre-digital days.
I scanned 'em at high resolution and you know what? Fuzzy shots scanned at high resolution still look fuzzy.
But #25? That's Mark McGwire.
That narrowed it down alot.
Then, I blew a shot of the scoreboard waaay up, and you can see the starting pitchers both were number 30.
Again online, I deduced that that would be Geremi Gonzalez and Todd Stottlmyre, and these photos are from May 1, 1998, when Sammy and McGwire were in the process of that Great Home Run Race. Back when players doing evil black magic stuff in the locker rooms with needles.
But anyway, forget that stuff for a minute and look at this photo.
It's Wrigley Field back in a far more innocent time. Seats nowhere near filled, Torco sign, cigarette smoking Mark Grace at first, and that WAS Rod Beck throwing the ball for the Cubs. They won 6-5.
This was the year Harry Caray died - in fact just a couple months before these photos. On Opening Day my brother and I sat in the front windows at Bernie's (which was still a pleasant old man bar) thinking we'd watch it there. Then we took a chance and ran across the street just before the game and got tickets at the will call window for face right down the 3rd base line about 20 rows up and watched a thousand black balloons fly into the sky in honor of Harry and pretended we didn't notice each other wiping our eyes.
That was just 12 years ago, and the photos look like they're from another time completely.
Brant Brown cf
Mickey Morandini 2b
Sammy Sosa rf
Mark Grace 1b
Henry Rodriguez lf
Jeff Blauser ss
Tyler Houston c
Kevin Orie 3rd
Geremi Gonzalez p
Royce Clayton ss
Delino DeShields 2b
Mark McGwire 1b
Ray Lankford cf
Willie McGee lf
Gary Gaitti 3b
John Mabry rf
Eli Marrero c
Todd Stottlemyre p
You can go to Baseball Almanac to see the actual box score.
Anyway, I don't remember this at all, but I guess I got to see a McGwire homer, Grace and McGee double, about 20 guys steal on Tyler Houston, and Rod Beck get the 9th save of his 51-save season.
By the way if there is a heaven, I hope to have a couple beers with Rod at some point in the future.
And couple months after these photos were taken the Cards would dump Gary Gaetti, the Cubs would pick him up, and in a 2-month span he'd hit .320 and slug .594 with 8 homers and 27 RBIs.
I also liked Brant Brown. We all thought he was gonna be a star, but of course later this season he'd make his famous "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" (that's Santo, of course) Error.
The Cubs would win the wild card in a 1-game playoff vs. the Giants and go on to... get swept by the Braves in round one of the NLDS?
Must be a common Cubs theme or something.
Anyway, hope you like the photos, and I hope the Cubs help the Cardinals continue their 2010 plummet.
Now, the Bears.
Of course I'm happy they won, and I guess they did. They beat the HELL out of the Lions with stats.
You know that saying about a tie? That it's like kissing your sister?
That's exactly what I felt like at the end of the game.
So far, I think I understand that that rule is in it's second season, and with this play I hope it's the last.
If that happened to the Bears, you'd be really really pissed.
I'm gonna hold my tongue about the play calling and coaching, and just, I guess, be grateful for the win.
And tonight we'll see the return of Jeff Samardzija, since Odd Job got an elbow strain or something.
My favorite rivalry in sports.