A major-league umpire for 31 seasons, Denkinger is best remembered for being at the center of the most controversial play of the 1985 World Series
. The St. Louis Cardinals
led the Kansas City Royals
in the Series 3-2 and were ahead in the ninth inning of the sixth game, 1-0. Denkinger called the Royals' Jorge Orta
safe at first on a grounder to the Cardinals' Jack Clark
, but TV replays showed that the throw to pitcher Todd Worrell
had beaten Orta to the bag. Kansas City went on to rally for two runs, averting elimination, and the next day won the Series.
Though infamous in St. Louis, Denkinger was a respected umpire who was served as an American League crew chief for many years. He retired in November 1998, but stayed involved in the game as an umpire evaluator and supervisor. (RTM/AG)