Of course, everybody remembers the movie Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. One of the many activities he engaged in was attending a game at Wrigley Field to see the Chicago Cubs play the Atlanta Braves, where he had the good fortune of catching a foul ball. But who’s foul ball was it? Thanks to this interesting article linked to from a Tweet by Joel Luckhaupt, now I know.
The movie used an actual game and included play-by-play from Harry Caray, which allowed the writer of the article to sift through the game logs at Baseball Reference and discover the exact game that was used.
The movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” was released on June 11, 1986. The ballgame then must have been filmed either real early in the 1986 season or sometime during 1985. Looking at game logs from those seasons, we see that there was no game in 1986 in which Lee Smith (#46) faced the Braves at Wrigley Field. There were four such games in ’85, though Smith left the Braves hitless in one of those. Of the remaining three games, it isn’t hard to find the game we’re looking for.
Go to the article to find the exciting conclusion. And then stick around to see how tight it makes the timeline of the rest of Beuller’s day. The baseball game was an 11-inning affair, which wouldn’t leave much time for the musical numbers in the parade and all the other stops.
Ah, the geeky wonders of Baseball Reference.