Don Denkinger, revered MLB umpire who made notorious World Collection name, useless at 86


Don Denkinger, a Main League Baseball umpire for 30 years, has died.

He was 86 years previous.

The information was introduced by Denkinger’s daughter, Denise Hanson, who mentioned Friday that her father handed at Cedar Valley Hospice in Waterloo, Iowa, according to USA Today.

“As we speak MLB remembers longtime American League Umpire Don Denkinger, who handed away at 86. The genial Denkinger was on the sphere from 1969-1998 and labored 4 World Collection, the final of which included plate duties for the epic Morris-Smoltz Recreation 7 in 1991. Relaxation in Peace, Don,” MLB mentioned in a press release.

Denkinger was additionally the umpire in an infamous moment in the 1985 World Series between the Cardinals and Royals, in a second that turned referred to as “The Name”.

The Cardinals had a 3-2 lead within the sequence and had been up 1-0 within the ninth inning when Royals pinch hitter Jorge Orta hit a excessive chopper to first off Todd Worrell.


Longtime MLB umpire Don Denkinger died at 86.
MLB Photographs by way of Getty Pictures

Cardinals first baseman Jack Clark fielded the ball and tossed to Worrell, who barely beat Orta to the bag.

However Denkinger referred to as Orta protected, and the Royals finally got here again to win Recreation 6, after which Recreation 7 and the World Collection.

Denkinger acquired a torrent of cellphone calls and letters to his dwelling in Iowa, together with a dying risk on the cellphone that the FBI finally traced to a person who owned a development firm in St. Louis.

Then-MLB commissioner Peter Ueberroth defended Denkinger.

“One of many high 5 umpires in your complete league,” the commissioner mentioned on the “Phil Donahue Present”, “and he might have missed one.”

“Nobody desires to be embarrassed like that,” Denkinger told Sports Illustrated months after the decision. “My job relies on being proper on a regular basis, and I wish to be proper on a regular basis. However we’re solely human, and now it’s historical past. I can’t change something. Even admitting I used to be flawed doesn’t change something.”


Don Denkinger argues with Cardinals pitcher Joaquin Andjuar during Game 7 of the 1985 World Series.
Don Denkinger argues with Cardinals pitcher Joaquin Andjuar throughout Recreation 7 of the 1985 World Collection.
Getty Pictures

Denkinger held his head excessive, although, remaining an MLB umpire for greater than a dozen years after the missed name, and even ultimately signing photos of the infamous play.


Don Denkinger in 1995.
Don Denkinger calls a recreation in 1995.
MLB by way of Getty Pictures

In 2014, Denkinger famous that immediate replay in fashionable instances would have corrected his inaccurate name.

“I’m not bored with speaking about it. I imply, it occurred,” he mentioned. “I simply know that if the identical factor occurred now, they’d get it proper on replay and it’d be over with.”



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