Friday, October 14, 2005

More on the Zeus of Douches, Denkinger

Ten years ago Don Denkinger practically invented modern douchebaggery.

"The Call" remains one of the more memorable, or heatbreaking, moments in World Series history. It was Game 6 of the 1985 World Series, with the St. Louis Cardinals leading the Kansas City Royals 3 games to 2. The Cardinals had taken a 1-0 lead on an 8th-inning single by little-used backup catcher Brian Harper after Danny Cox (of the Cardinals) and Charlie Leibrandt (of the Royals) had battled tit-for-tat all game long. Todd Worrell was now in the game for the Cardinals in the 9th inning, facing Jorge Orta for the Royals. Orta hit a slow roller to first baseman Jack Clark, who tossed to Worrell covering first base. First-base umpire Denkinger called Orta safe, but later replays and photographs showed he was clearly out by a step. According to Denkinger, he got too close to the play, first looked at Worrell's glove, and a second later looked at Orta's foot.

After the call, St. Louis collapsed and allowed Kansas City to score two runs in the inning and win the game 2-1.

Shortly after the game, Denkinger found Commissioner Peter Ueberroth – who was in utter disbelief when the call happened – waiting for him at the umpires' room. When Denkinger asked Ueberroth if he got the call right, Ueberroth bluntly told Denkinger "no!"

Bud Selig couldn't find balls like that even if his wife took them out of her purse and left him a note on how to reattach them.

The Call has previously been listed as the worst call in all of Sports by

1. Denkinger calls Orta safe
In arguably the most controversial call in World Series history, Don Denkinger calls the Royals' Jorge Orta safe at first base in the ninth inning of Game 6 of the 1985 Series against the Cardinals. TV replays show that St. Louis pitcher Todd Worrell had clearly beaten Orta to the bag, but Denkinger's call sets the stage for a two-run Royals rally in a critical 2-1 victory. Kansas City goes on to win the Series in seven games.
Denkinger has new company in the Pantheon of Douches.


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