Saturday, June 28, 2014

The 45th Anniversary of 'Billy Williams Day'

On a day in which Billy Williams would tie and pass Stan Musial in a doubleheader against Stan's old team, we've been treated over and over again with bits and pieces of beautiful WGN color video footage.  While I have never been able to track down (through many attempts) how much of this footage WGN held on to, I'd like to mark the anniversary of Billy Williams Day by showing you footage that doesn't contain Billy Williams!

As I pointed out in this post nearly 2 years ago, Billy Williams Day featured one of the greatest of Wrigley treats: A Gibson/Jenkins duel.  The two would both throw the entire game with Gibson giving up the lead in the bottom of the 8th.

After the jump, we get some of the 9th inning action.

In the first game of the June 29th double header, Cardinals third baseman Mike Shannon had picked up the first hit of the game with a single to center field in the 2nd. Shannon would single to LF in the 7th, only to be caught stealing in a scoreless game.  

The Cardinals would enter the 9th inning, now trailing 3-0, with Gibson on the hook for the loss.  The inning would unfold as so: 

Top of the 9th, Cardinals Batting, Behind 0-3, Cubs' F. Jenkins facing 2-3-4
t9 0-3 0 ---
O STL L. Brock F. Jenkins 2% 99% Groundout: 1B unassisted
t9 0-3 1 ---
R STL V. Pinson F. Jenkins -2% 96% Home Run
t9 1-3 1 ---
O STL J. Torre F. Jenkins 2% 99% Groundout: 3B-1B
t9 1-3 2 ---

STL T. McCarver F. Jenkins -2% 96% Single to CF
t9 1-3 2 1--
O STL M. Shannon F. Jenkins 4% 100% Groundout: 2B-1B

The most important part of that inning to us is the last part.  Mike Shannon grounding out to 2B for the final out of the game.  As you can see, there is a runner on 1st at the time it happens.  

For Shannon's career, he faced Jenkins 52 times between 1966 and 1970.  Since we see Fergie getting hand shakes at the end of this game, we know he either had to throw a CG win or pitched the final inning in relief.  From 1967 - 1970, Jenkins only pitched in relief 3 times.   From 1967-1970, Jenkins faced the Cardinals at Wrigley only 6 times.  Of those 6, only 5 of those game did he pitch the final out.  Those final 5 outs involved 3 strikeouts and 2 groundouts. 

Since we are looking for groundouts here, we have it down to two games: September 21, 1969 and Billy Williams Day.  On September 21, Bill White grounds out to the shortstop for an unassisted force out.  That isn't what is shown, so it has to be the final out of Game 1 of the Billy Williams doubleheader. On top of that, the picture above clearly shows the hitter was "The Moonman" Mike Shannon (#18).

As more and more of these June 29th clips pop-up, the more and more intrigued I am about the holdings WGN has for this game.  

All images found here are from WGN's 100 Years of Wrigley special.

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