Don Denkinger, who worked as a Major League umpire for nearly 30 years, died Friday at the age of 86.
Denise Hanson, one of Denkinger’s three daughters, said he died at Cedar Valley Hospice in Waterloo, Iowa.
“Today MLB remembers longtime American League Umpire Don Denkinger, who passed away at 86,” MLB Communications posted to Twitter Friday. “The genial Denkinger was on the field from 1969-1998 and worked four World Series, the last of which included plate duties for the epic Morris-Smoltz Game 7 in 1991. Rest in Peace, Don.”
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While Denkinger worked four World Series, he is unfortunately known for a call he got wrong in Game 6 of the 1985 World Series.
In the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 6 between the Kansas City Royals and the St. Louis Cardinals, Denkinger called Royals pinch hitter Jorge Orta safe at first after a slow bouncer to the first base side.
The replay showed Orta to be clearly out.
With the Cardinals up 1-0, the Royals rallied after the missed call, eventually winning on a walk-off two-run single by Dane Iorg.
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The win by Kansas City forced a Game 7, which the Royals won 11-0 for the World Series title.
“Nobody wants to have the call that I did in the World Series,” Denkinger told The Associated Press in 2014. “But I did. And now it’s part of history.”
Replay rules did not exist in MLB In 1985.
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“I’m not tired of talking about it. I mean, it happened,” Denkinger said. “I just know that if the same thing happened now, they’d get it right on replay, and it’d be over with.”
Denkinger is one of only seven umpires to work two perfect games and called his final game June 2, 1998, at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium.
The Associated Press contributed to this report