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Don Denkinger was regarded as one of the finest major-league umpires of his time. Working in the American League from 1969 to 1998, he was assigned to four World Series and three All-Star Games.

But when Denkinger died Friday in Waterloo, Iowa, at 86, he was remembered mostly for his famously botched call on baseball’s greatest stage.

In 1985, Denkinger was umpiring at first base in Game 6 of the World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals. The Cardinals were on the brink of capturing the championship, leading the Royals by three games to two and ahead by 1-0 with no one out in the bottom of the ninth inning. The Royals’ Jorge Orta, who led off, hit a bounder to the Cardinals’ first baseman, Jack Clark. He flipped the ball to the pitcher, Todd Worrell, who was covering the bag.

Denkinger called Orta safe though he was out by about a step. There was no television instant replay: Though the technology existed, Major League Baseball did not begin using it until 2008. So Denkinger’s obvious missed call stood, infuriating the Cardinal manager, Whitey Herzog, his players and their fans.


Credit…Patrick Sullivan/The Kansas City Star, via Associated Press

After what became known as “the call,” the Royals staged a rally that came to a head by the pinch-hitter Dane Iorg’s single for a 2-1 victory that forced Game 7. Kansas City trounced the presumably dispirited Cardinals, 11-0, the next night to capture the World Series title.

During the off-season, Denkinger received death threats. His Iowa home was given police protection, and the F.B.I. investigated some of the most troubling notes he received.

Years later, in 2015, he told Sports Illustrated how he came to make the call that would define his career. “I was in good position, but Worrell is tall, the throw was high, and I couldn’t watch his glove and his feet at the same time. It was a soft toss, and there was so much crowd noise, I couldn’t hear the ball hit the glove.”

Donald Anton Denkinger was born on Aug. 28, 1936, in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He attended Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa, and joined its wrestling team. He served in the Army from 1957 to 1959, then began umpiring in the minor leagues in 1960. He worked the World Series in 1974, 1980, 1985 and 1991.

He was behind the plate for the 1978 Yankees-Boston Red Sox tiebreaking game for the A.L. pennant. He called balls and strikes for Game 7 of the 1991 World Series, when the Minnesota Twins’ Jack Morris pitched a 10-inning shutout to best the Atlanta Braves, 1-0, and for Nolan Ryan’s sixth no-hitter in 1990. His final game was in Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium on June 2, 1998. He retired after the season because of an ailing right knee.


Denkinger, center, in 1986 with the Texas Rangers’ manager, Bobby Valentine, left, during a Rangers game against the Cleveland Indians.Credit…Mark Duncan/Associated Press

Denkinger’s daughter Denise Hanson announced his death. His survivors also include his wife, Gayle Price, and two other daughters.

He appeared at sports memorabilia shows, including one in St. Louis, and autographed photos of “the call” for fans. He kept a framed photo of “the call” at his home, and he displayed a painting depicting it at a restaurant he owned in Waterloo. Over the years Herzog reconciled with Denkinger, who spoke at a 2005 dinner for the Whitey Herzog Youth Foundation.

“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.”

“I’m not tired of talking about it,” he added. “I mean, it happened. It’s just that if the same thing happened now, they’d get it right on replay, and it’d be over with.”

Denkinger reflected on the call before the 2014 World Series between the Royals and the San Francisco Giants, Kansas City’s first such berth since 1985.

“It’s life, and it goes on,” quoted him as saying. “I’m obviously reminded constantly that I made a mistake. You know what? I was an umpire for more than 30 years in the major leagues. I know I made a lot of mistakes. That one was just blown out of proportion.”


By: Richard Goldstein
Title: Don Denkinger, Umpire Remembered for Botched Call, Dies at 86
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Published Date: Sun, 14 May 2023 22:15:08 +0000

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Watch Jay-Z’s surprise performance with Alicia Keys at 2024 Tony Awards

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Jay-Z and Alicia Keys performing live at the 2024 Tony Awards

Jay-Z made a surprise appearance during Alicia Keys‘ performance at the 2024 Tony Awards last night (June 16) – watch the footage below.

Keys’ Broadway musical Hell’s Kitchen was nominated for 13 awards at the ceremony, which took place at the Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater in New York City.

The R&B artist began singing ‘Empire State Of Mind’ – her 2009 collaborative single with Jay-Z – alongside the cast of her show. While walking into the audience, she said: “[I] had to do something crazy! It’s my home town!”

She then threw to the rapper, who appeared on the big screen. He was seen standing on a set of stairs in a theatre lobby as he rapped his lines from the track before Keys joined him.

Ahead of the outing, Keys told Entertainment Tonight that the Hell’s Kitchen cast would be “bringing all of their passion and fire” to the “spectacular” performance at the Tony Awards. “I’m so excited for this,” she added.

The artist had teased her surprise reunion with Jay by sharing a photo of two microphones on social media. One was labelled with her initials in gold pen, with the other featuring the letter “J”. See the posts below.

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A post shared by Alicia Keys (@aliciakeys)

Hell’s Kitchen is “an unforgettable new show loosely based on Alicia Keys’ personal experiences, featuring both newly created music and many of her soulful, iconic songs”, per an official synopsis.

It reads: “In a cramped apartment hanging off the side of Times Square, 17-year-old Ali is desperate to get her piece of the New York dream. Ali’s mother is just as determined to protect her daughter from the same mistakes she made.

“When Ali falls for a talented young drummer, both mother and daughter must face hard truths about race, defiance, and growing up. Ali feels trapped, until the sound of a neighbour playing piano opens the door to an unexpected friendship and a radically different future.”

In other news, Keys recently teamed up with Sam Smith for a duet of the latter’s song ‘I’m Not The Only One’.

The post Watch Jay-Z’s surprise performance with Alicia Keys at 2024 Tony Awards appeared first on NME.


By: Tom Skinner
Title: Watch Jay-Z’s surprise performance with Alicia Keys at 2024 Tony Awards
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Published Date: Mon, 17 Jun 2024 06:43:21 +0000

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Steve Carell & Greg Kinnear Discuss the Art of Sound Editing at the Oscars

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Steve Carell and Greg Kinnear presenting Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman the Oscar for Sound Editing for “Letters from Iwo Jima” at the 79th Academy Awards in 2007.

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Steve Carell & Greg Kinnear Discuss the Art of Sound Editing at the Oscars

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By: Oscars
Title: Steve Carell & Greg Kinnear Discuss the Art of Sound Editing at the Oscars
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2025 Governors Awards Omit Woody Allen from Juliet Taylor’s bio

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On June 12th, the Academy’s press release announced the recipients of this year’s Governors Awards. An esteemed list of names: Quincy Jones and Juliet Taylor will receive Honorary Awards, while Richard Curtis will be presented with the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and producers Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli will be awarded the Irving G. […]


By: Sasha Stone
Title: 2025 Governors Awards Omit Woody Allen from Juliet Taylor’s bio
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Published Date: Sun, 16 Jun 2024 17:07:46 +0000

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