Blown call brings back memories for 1985 World Series umpire Don Denkinger

8:58 AM, Jun 3, 2010   |    comments
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Don Denkinger

ST. LOUIS -- Umpire Jim Joyce's blown call that cost Detroit Tiger's pitcher Armando Galarraga a perfect game on Wednesday night most likely brings up bad memories for Cardinals fans.

Umpire Don Denkinger blew a call on an almost identical play in Game 6 of the 1985 World Series with the Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals. The Royals went on to win the World Series in Game 7.

Denkinger and Joyce have worked together.

"I had Jim on my crew," Denkinger said during a phone interview with NewsChannel 5's Ryan Dean. "He's very capable and a real good official and you don't like to see these things happen to anybody."

Denkinger was on the golf course when the call was made. He said he saw the replay when he went inside and immediately thought of Joyce.

"First and foremost I'm an umpire, so I thought about Jim," Denkinger said. "It's just something he is going to have to live with. It's a very humbling situation."

A humbling situation, that Denkinger said he doesn't think about everyday, but when similar incidents happen, his name is brought back up in the news because comparisons are made.

"It never really goes away," Denkinger said. "Obviously it hasn't gone away because I'm on the phone talking to you about it and it's been over 25 years since I've had that call in the '85 World Series."

Denkinger, like Joyce, thought he had made the right call. When Joyce saw the replay, he immediately apologized to Galarraga.

"I'm proud of the way he handled it," Denkinger said.

Denkinger said he would like to see instant replay expanded in baseball beyond home runs. He said that umpires are human beings and unfortunately can't be perfect 100 percent of the time.

Click here to discuss instant replay.


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