Alan Ruck and Mathew Broderick (right) in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Credit Paramount Home Entertainment
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The age-old question that’s been debated since the debut of “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” in 1986 might have been answered.
What day did Ferris take off?
It’s a mystery that movie and sports fans alike have wondered about for a quarter century.
Well, thanks to the double-play combo of Larry Granillo of Baseball Prospectus and Al Yellon of SB Nation Chicago, the mystery seems to be solved.
First, a quick movie review: Ferris Bueller, played by Matthew Broderick, decides to ditch school for a day and do a bunch of cool things around Chicago, one of which is to attend a Cubs game. While at Wrigley Field, Bueller can be seen on TV catching a foul ball ... by his dean of students.
Granillo analyzed the Wrigley Field clip with Harry Caray doing play-by-play and concluded that the game in question took place on June 5 against the Atlanta Braves. He wrote:
“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.”
Mystery solved, right? Not just yet.
Yellon did some of his own investigative work and determined that the game had to take place later in the season, because filming for the movie didn’t start until September of 1985.
Ken Collins, the second assistant director of the John Hughes film e-mailed both sleuths and said he was pretty sure they filmed a game at Wrigley Field against the Expos on Sept. 24, 1985.
So, what gives--did Ferris really take two days off?
The game shown on the TV in the movie is June 5, 1985 against the Braves. The game Broderick attended for filming purposes was Sept. 24, 1985.
There you go. Cross another of life’s mysteries off your list.
(Take a look for yourself in the clip below. Forward to the 2:17 mark.)