'Curse of the Bambino' Falls On Redbirds!

Published: Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 10:01 AM.

I am trying hard not to be bitter or a sore loser here. But I do have a pertinent thought on the matter. Now, that we have hung our hat on “they got it right”, let’s back up to 1985. It is the eighth inning of the sixth game of the World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals. In the crucial play of that game, and the series, Jorge Orta hit a slow grounder to Jack Clark, who fielded it cleanly and flipped to Todd Worrell covering first base. The replay clearly showed, as do still pictures, the runner is out. Worrell beats him to the bag by a country mile! Don Denkinger called him safe. Whitey Herzog, the Cardinal manager, argued vociferously to no avail. Not one of the other five umpires moved in to “get it right”. The play went down in history as simply “part of the game”. Every announcer and commentator working the game, as well as Denkinger after it was over, emphatically stated that the runner was, in fact, out.

Something doesn’t seem fair here. If we’re going “to get the call right”, let’s get them ALL right! I want to start that game over from where the umpires huddle and overrule Denkinger’s call! 

And we can go back even further. I remember Squeaky Ridinger sliding into third base at the ball field across from the Pajama Factory. He was called out. George Sexton missed the tag by another country mile! We argued briefly and got on with the game. We were having too much fun to belabor one close call. But Squeaky was safe. And it cost us that game! If we are now bent on “getting the call right” at all cost, it is only fitting that we reconvene on that hot July afternoon in 1958 and start over with Squeak still at third base.

Can you see the possibilities here? It shouldn’t be limited to baseball. What about the guy who said “I do” but really meant “I don’t”! A terrible marriage ensues that could have been avoided if the right group had huddled quickly as the music was about to start and overturned the wedding. Someone would be out a nice dress, a layered cake and a little pride, but hey, they “got the call right”!

What about politics? Can you imagine? A bad law is about to be written into the books……wait a minute, let’s huddle……

            O.K., maybe there are a few grapes involved here after all.


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