MLB Memory Lane – September 1, 1985
I went to a lot of baseball games before I started working in baseball. MLB Memory Lane is a look back at some of those games.
This week: A Mehring family day trip to Wrigley Field.
Date: September 1, 1985
Teams: Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs
Stadium: Wrigley Field
Seat Location: Right field foul line; lower deck
This was a neat, end-of-summer, day trip for the family. We got in the car and drove to Skokie. Then, took the train in to Wrigley Field. From there, well, there is something special about walking up to Wrigley Field on a warm, sunny Sunday afternoon and the day of a game.
It didn’t matter that the Braves were horrible and the Cubs were mediocre. We were going to a game at Wrigley Field on a perfect day.
Then, I saw the Cubs decided to sit Ryne Sandberg. Chris Speier would be the starting second baseman for Chicago on this day…Davey Lopes would be the left fielder.
Didn’t matter. The seats were great and pitching matchup would be…Len Barker against….Derek Botelho…. *SIGH*.
I remember taking pictures of the stadium with a small Kodak camera. The one that you would load with film. The pictures are somewhere between here and my ancestral home. They were okay.
Something else that was okay was a leadoff homer by Davey Lopes in the bottom of the second inning. I wasn’t expecting that. Later in the inning, Leon Durham doubled and stole third base. I don’t think that anyone was expecting that second part.
In the bottom of the third, I witnessed something that explains Atlanta Braves baseball in the mid-80’s.
Botelho reached on an error. Bob Dernier bunted for a single. Shawon Dunston walked to load the bases. Thad Bosley walked to force in a run. Barker got the next two outs, but walked Leon Durham to force in a run. That ended the day for Barker. Jeff Dedmon came in and walked Speier to force in a run for a 4-0 Cubs lead.
Chris Chambliss hit a two-run home run in the top of the fourth to close the gap for the Braves.
But, Dedmon gave both runs back as he walked Botelho to start the bottom of the fourth inning and eventually load the bases for Keith Moreland.
Confession time: My baseball number in high school was #6. I wanted that number because Keith Moreland was my favorite player. That should tell you everything you ever wanted to know about me.
Moreland singled to drive in two runs and the Cubs were up 6-2.
From there, Botelho turned into Fergie Jenkins. He allowed two more hits in the game as he went the distance.
The Cubs offense was not done. In the fifth, they loaded the bases again. This time Thad Bosley singled in two runs. Lopes singled in a run. Moreland doubled in a run. Speier drove in a run with a grounder. 11-2 Cubs.
Moreland singled in another run in the sixth. Speier followed with a two-run single. 14-2 Cubs.
I remember that Harry’s Take Me Out to the Ballgame was especially good that day. There may even be a bad picture of him leaning out the booth among that snapshots I took that day.
The final run of the game scored when Gary Woods pinch-hit for Lopes and drove in Dernier in the seventh inning.
Moreland made the final out of the seventh and was taken out of the game. Dave Owen went out for defense in the eighth and played second as Speier switched over to third in place of Moreland.
From there, Botelho finished off the Braves from Z to B. Z being pinch-hitter Paul Zuvella, the first out of the eighth and B being Glenn Hubbard, the last out of the game.
Sure, Sandberg didn’t play for the Cubs and Dale Murphy didn’t play the whole game for the Braves.
But, my favorite player drove in four runs in the game. Plus, how many people can say they saw Chris Speier drive in four runs in a game? Or a Derek Botelho complete game?
All in all it was a pretty good day with the family.
Starting Lineups: Atlanta Braves Chicago Cubs 1. Thompson rf Dernier cf 2. Ramirez ss Dunston ss 3. Murphy cf Bosley rf 4. Harper lf Lopes lf 5. Chambliss 1b Moreland 3b 6. Oberkfell 3b Durham 1b 7. Hubbard 2b Speier 2b 8. Cerone c Lake c 9. Barker p Botelho p
Chris Chambliss: 2-for-4, HR, 2RBI
Derek Botelho: 9IP, 6H, 2R, 3BB, 4K, WIN
Keith Moreland: 3-for-6, 2B, RUN, 4RBI,
Dave Lopes: 3-for-5, HR, 3 RUNS, 2RBI
Chris Speier: 1-for-5, 4RBI
Derek Botelho won three games as a major league pitcher. He won a pair of games with the Kansas City Royals in 1982. His complete game victory over the Braves on 9/1/85 was his last MLB victory.
Botelho has been a minor league pitching coach for many years. He is slated to begin his third year as the pitching coach for the Lynchburg Hillcats this season.
The twist? Lynchburg is a Braves affiliate.
Past MLB Memory Lane entries:
Rally against The Eck & Walkoff the A’s (1989)