Ferris's Cubs Game Revealed - NBC Chicago

Ferris's Cubs Game Revealed

Larry Granillo says the real game took place in 1985



    Celebrate This Holiday Season in Lively St. Charles
    John Hughes directed "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," among other movies.

    In the pantheon of Chicago movies, Ferris Bueller's Day Off ranks among the best.

    Its lore is rooted not only in the mischievous traipsings of a silver toungued high school student, but  in the tour of Chicago that it becomes. The film shows off Chicago through the eyes of an eager 17-year-old as he joins in the Von Stueben Day parade, dines at a Magnificent Mile restaurant, and visits the Art Institute of Chicago.

    One of Ferris's stops, a ballgame at Wrigley Field, stuck with Baseball Prospectus writer Larry Granillo.

    He had to know which game the crew attended. Through a thoughtful analysis, he believes he found the answer and that it was a real game, not some staged for the cameras affair.

    Ferris Bueller and his pals were at the June 5, 1985, tilt between the Cubs and the Braves. The foul ball that Ferris caught was hit by Atlanta rightfielder Claudell Washington (#15) in the top of the 11th inning. The game was tied at two (not scoreless, like the pizza guy claimed) and backup second-baseman Paul Zuvella (#18) was being held on first by Leon Durham (#10) after a leadoff single (the fourth hit of the game, and Atlanta's first hit since the fifth). Washington would end his at-bat with a flyball to leftfielder Davey Lopes. The next batter, Rafael Ramirez, would wind up hitting a two-run home run and the Braves would go on to win 4-2. The movie, however, cut away before that happened.

    What's more, Granillo suggests the timing of the game throws into question the rest of Ferris's Day. 

    The eleven-inning game took 3:09 to complete, which means that the foul ball Ferris catches had to have been sometime after 4:00pm. That leaves, at the most, one hour and forty-five minutes for their trips to the museum, Sears Tower, the lake, and Sloane's house, while squeezing in two musical numbers during the parade before racing home at 5:55pm. Seems a bit tough to squeeze all of that in for most normal people. But, seeing as Ferris has the magical ability to sound exactly like both a young Wayne Newton and a young John Lennon, I'm willing to believe he could make the schedule work. 

    Amazing that it took only 25 years to discover the truth.