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Cubs to turn back the clock at Wrigley

Cubs to turn back the clock

CHICAGO -- When you turn on the Cubs and Braves game Thursday, don't panic. There's nothing wrong with your TV set.

The teams will turn back the clock in honor of the 60th anniversary of Cubs baseball on WGN in the first throwback game at Wrigley Field. The plan is to begin the television broadcast in black-and-white, not color.

Both teams will wear replica 1948 uniforms with the Atlanta Braves switching back to their Boston days for one afternoon.

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"I think they're cool -- I have my throwback jersey from when I played with the Braves," Cubs second baseman Mark DeRosa said. "I did it a bunch in the Minor Leagues. I get a kick out of it."

The game should be a treat for TV viewers, who can watch the first two innings in black and white with fewer camera angles. The telecast will try to go without a center-field camera and use basic graphics at the start, and then add a camera or another technical advancement as the game progresses. Commentators Len Kasper and Bob Brenly will don appropriate 1948 garb in the booth.

Fans attending the game are encouraged to join Kasper and Brenly in dressing in 1948-style attire. The ballpark experience will have a classic feel, from music to scorecards to ingame and postgame activities. For the first hour after gates open, Kelly Eisenberg smokey links make a return for $1 a piece and select vendors will sell drinks in the stands for 75 cents.

Unlike 2008, the 1948 Cubs weren't performing so well heading into June 12. They were 18-30 under manager Charlie Grimm. Hopefully, June 12, 2008, goes a little smoother than it did 60 years ago at Wrigley when rain postponed a game against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Times have certainly changed in the past six decades. The Cubs and White Sox finished in last place in the same season for the first time in 1948. Today, both teams sit atop their divisions.

Here's a quick guide to 1948 baseball, thanks to Cubs historian Ed Hartig:

• There were only eight National League teams, playing a 154-game schedule.

• All Cubs games started at 1:30 p.m., since there were no lights at Wrigley.

• Box seat tickets went for $2, and bleacher tickets were 60 cents. Ladies Day every Friday allowed women grandstand admission for a 25-cent tax fee.

• Concession prices ranged from five cents (gum, candy bars and pencils) to $6.20 for a Cubs jacket.

• Players left their gloves on the field between innings.

• Three Hall of Fame Cubs passed away, Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown, Joe Tinker and Hack Wilson.

• The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League added two Illinois teams -- the Chicago Colleens and Springfield Sallies.

• The Indians beat the Braves in a six-game World Series behind American League MVP Lou Boudreau. The Indians have not won a championship since and own the second-longest World Series drought to you-know-who.

Pitching matchup
CHC: RHP Carlos Zambrano (8-2, 3.01 ERA)
The Cubs tweaked the rotation to keep Zambrano on five days' rest, and moved him up. But hide the Gatorade coolers. Zambrano lost the game and his temper in his last start against the Dodgers. He had a 3-2 lead going into the seventh, and the Dodgers scored on a throwing error, a RBI single by Russell Martin and a three-run homer by Matt Kemp. Then he kicked and tossed the coolers in the visitor's dugout. For the game, Zambrano gave up seven runs on 13 hits over 6 2/3 innings, striking out six. Manager Lou Piniella says he doesn't mind the emotion, as long as nobody gets hurt. Zambrano could've blamed his teammates, but blamed himself.

ATL: RHP Tim Hudson (7-4, 2.86 ERA)
Hudson saw his eighth win of the season vanish because of a ninth-inning error in the Braves' 4-3 loss on Friday night to the Phillies. Hudson pitched 7 2/3 strong innings, allowing one run on five hits, and was in line for the victory until an error with two outs in the ninth. Hudson walked four (one shy of his season high) and struck out three. On a hot and humid night, Hudson said he nearly ran out of gas and decided it would be best if he was taken out with two outs in the eighth and a lefty at the plate. The only run he gave up Friday came on an RBI groundout. He has pitched at least six innings in each of his past four starts.

Tidbits
Rich Hill gave up four runs, three earned, on three hits and six walks over four innings in Triple-A Iowa's 5-2 loss to Memphis on Wednesday. Hill did strike out six, but threw 101 pitches. Is there a light at the end of the tunnel for Hill? "The light is, he gets back to throwing the ball the way he can," Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild said. "Until that happens, he just has to struggle his way through it. Hopefully, he can rebound and get things going." ... Cubs manager Lou Piniella was asked about Jim Edmonds' bat speed. "I'm going to put an odometer on him," Piniella said. ... Brenly's son Michael, who was drafted by the Cubs in the 36th round of the First-Year Player Draft, has signed an agreement with the team, and was working out in Mesa, Ariz., with some of the team's rookies. ... The Cubs will call up 14 to 16 Minor League players from the Mesa, Ariz., camp to play in Monday's Hall of Fame Game in Cooperstown, N.Y. ... Ryan Harvey recorded his first multi-homer game of the season in Class A Daytona's 8-6 loss to Dunedin on Tuesday.

On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• WGN

On radio
• WGN 720

Up next
• Friday: Cubs (Sean Gallagher, 3-2, 4.42) at Blue Jays (A.J. Burnett, 5-6, 4.98), 6:07 p.m. CT
• Saturday: Cubs (Jason Marquis, 4-3, 4.54) at Blue Jays (Roy Halladay, 8-5, 3.07), 12:07 p.m. CT
• Sunday: Cubs (Ted Lilly, 6-5, 5.13) at Blue Jays (Jesse Litsch, 7-2, 3.42), 12:07 p.m. CT

Nick Zaccardi is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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