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The 1985 World Series, popularly known as the "Show-Me Series" and the "I-70 Series", pitted the National League champion St. Louis Cardinals against the American League champion Kansas City Royals. Interstate 70, which crosses Missouri and links the two cities together, inspired the nickname for this year's Major League Baseball championship.
Although the Royals lost the first two games at home, they overcame their poor start and became World Series champions for the first time, thanks in particular to Series MVP Bret Saberhagen and his victories in games 3 and 7.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E - - - - - - - - - - - - St. Louis Cardinals 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 3 7 1 Kansas City Royals 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 0 PITCHERS: STL - Tudor, Worrell (7) KCR - Jackson, Quisenberry (8), Jackson (9) WP - Tudor LP - Jackson SAVE - Worrell HOME RUNS: STL- none KCR- none ATTENDANCE: 41,650
October 20, 1985 at Royals Stadium (Kansas City Royals)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E - - - - - - - - - - - - St. Louis Cardinals 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 4 6 0 Kansas City Royals 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 9 0 PITCHERS: STL - Cox, Dayley (8), Lahti (9) KCR - Leibrandt, Quisenberry (9) WP - Dayley LP - Leibrandt SAVE - Lahti HOME RUNS: STL- none KCR - none ATTENDANCE: 41,656
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E - - - - - - - - - - - - Kansas City Royals 0 0 0 2 2 0 2 0 0 6 11 0 St. Louis Cardinals 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 6 0 PITCHERS: KCR - Saberhagen STL - Andujar, Campbell (5), Horton (6), Dayley (8) WP - Saberhagen LP - Andujar SAVE - none HOME RUNS: KCR - White STL - none ATTENDANCE: 53,634
October 23, 1985 at Busch Stadium (St. Louis Cardinals)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E - - - - - - - - - - - - Kansas City Royals 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 1 St. Louis Cardinals 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 X 3 6 0 PITCHERS: KCR - Black, Beckwith (6), Quisenberry (8) STL - Tudor WP - Tudor LP - Black SAVE - none HOME RUNS: KCR - none STL - Landrum, McGee ATTENDANCE: 53,634
October 24, 1985 at Busch Stadium (St. Louis Cardinals)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E - - - - - - - - - - - - Kansas City Royals 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 6 11 2 St. Louis Cardinals 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 1 PITCHERS: KCR - Jackson STL - Forsch, Horton (2), Campbell (4), Worrell (6), Lahti (8) WP - Jackson LP - Forsch SAVE - none HOME RUNS: KCR - none STL - none ATTENDANCE: 53,634
October 26, 1985 at Royals Stadium (Kansas City Royals)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E - - - - - - - - - - - - St. Louis Cardinals 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 5 0 Kansas City Royals 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 2 10 0 PITCHERS: STL - Cox, Dayley (8), Worrell (9) KCR - Leibrandt, Quisenberry (8) WP - Quisenberry LP - Worrell SAVE - none HOME RUNS: STL - none KCR - none ATTENDANCE: 41,628
October 27, 1985 at Royals Stadium (Kansas City Royals)
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E - - - - - - - - - - - - St. Louis Cardinals 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0 Kansas City Royals 0 2 3 0 6 0 0 0 X 11 14 0 PITCHERS: STL - Tudor, Campbell (3), Lahti (5), Horton (5), Andujar (5), Forsch (5), Dayley (7) KCR - Saberhagen WP - Saberhagen LP - Tudor SAVE - none HOME RUNS: STL - none KCR - Motley ATTENDANCE: 41,658
- This was the first World Series in which all games were played at night.
- The Cardinals' .185 batting average was the lowest for a seven-game World Series until the New York Yankees hit .183 in the 2001 World Series.
- Cardinals manager Whitey Herzog was ejected in Game 7 by the home plate umpire, Don Denkinger. Denkinger had infamously and incorrectly called safe Jorge Orta at first base in Game 6. When asked about why he would allow himself to get ejected from the seventh game of the World Series, Herzog said "I've seen enough!"
- The day before starting Game 7, World Series MVP Bret Saberhagen's wife Janeane gave birth to the couple's first child, a nine-pound, three-ounce boy named Drew William. By the 8th inning of Game 7, Saberhagen looked directly towards ABC's cameras and asked his wife over the air, "Is the baby still there?"
- John Tudor was so enraged after his performance in Game 7, in which he allowed five earned runs and four walks in 2 1/3 innings, that he took a punch (with his throwing hand) at an electric fan. The fan got the better of the encounter.
- This was the first World Series that featured commentator Tim McCarver, who called the World Series with Al Michaels and Jim Palmer for ABC. Howard Cosell was originally supposed to be in the booth, but he was removed from his assignment just prior to Game 1 because of the controversy surrounding his book I Never Played the Game.
- Game 6 hero (and former Cardinal) Dane Iorg got his nose broken when his teammates, led by 230 pound (104 kg) pitcher Mike Jones, mobbed him after his game winning hit.
- Perhaps the most memorable image of the Series was George Brett racing over to hug Bret Saberhagen after the clinching out. Just moments earlier, Brett approached his pitcher at the mound and told him to stick around on the mound once the final out was made.
- The Royals became the first team ever to win the World Series after dropping Games 1 and 2 at home.
- The Cardinals scored only 13 total runs, an all-time low for a seven game series, scoring only once in the final 26 innings of the series. If they had held on for the win in Game 6, they still would have been outscored in the series 15-13.
- According to George Brett, although he has come in contact with embattled umpire Don Denkinger (briefly crossing paths at banquets for instance) years after the controversial events in the 1985 World Series, Brett has claimed that he has never directly mentioned "The Call" to Denkinger.
“You Can’t Blame Don Denkinger”
In October 2005, 20 years after "The Call", ESPN Classic aired The Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame... Don Denkinger for the Cardinals losing the 1985 World Series. Their reasons why the umpire should not be held as the scapegoat:
- 5. Cardinal outfielder Vince Coleman had been injured during the NLCS. Not realizing it was happening until it was too late, the National League's top base-stealer had been run over by a tarp that a built-in mechanism rolled out of the artificial turf at Busch Stadium. Baseball's fastest man (at the time) had been removed from active play by a two-mile-an-hour machine. Had Coleman been able to play, he could have made a difference in the World Series.
- 4. Tommy Lasorda, manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, kept using Tom Niedenfuer to relieve in the NLCS. Niedenfuer gave up a game-winning home run to light-hitting Ozzie Smith in Game 5. Then Lasorda put in Niedenfuer, who had only a fastball, to face Jack Clark, one of the game's top fastball hitters, in the ninth inning of Game 6, resulting in a home run that scored the runs that won the pennant. Had Lasorda not made that decision, it might have been the Dodgers who played the Royals, and Cardinal fans wouldn't have cared if Denkinger had hurt the Dodgers by making the same mistake.
- 3. The Cardinals stopped hitting. Their .185 batting average was the lowest ever in a seven-game Series and 79 points below their league-leading .264 during the regular season. Willie McGee, pressed into the leadoff spot in Coleman's absence, batted only .259 — nearly 100 points lower than his league-leading .353. Tom Herr didn't drive in a run after leading the Cardinals with 110 RBIs during the regular season.
- 2. The Cardinals' defense. After "The Call", Steve Balboni hit a pop-up behind first base. Catcher Darrell Porter called for it, then yelled that he didn't have it, giving first baseman Clark little chance to catch it. Porter then got his signals mixed up with pitcher Todd Worrell, and a passed ball was the result, advancing the runner.
- 1. There was still a Game 7. The Cardinals could have put their Game 6 loss in the past and concentrated on the game to come. Instead, they were mentally unprepared to play and had a collective nervous breakdown, with manager Whitey Herzog blaming Denkinger in the post-Game 6 press conference, and pitcher Joaquín Andújar losing his cool as Denkinger called two straight walks on him in Game 7.
The episode also featured a "Best of the Rest" which focused on the need for instant replay. Had it existed at the time, Denkinger's call would very easily have been reversed. Also, the American League Championship Series was in its first year of a best-of-seven after having played a best-of-five since the inception of the playoffs in 1969. Had it retained its best-of-five format, the Toronto Blue Jays would have been facing the Cardinals in the World Series, having won three of the first four games in its series with Kansas City. But the Royals came back to win the next three games to win the ALCS and faced St. Louis in the World Series instead.
Quotes of the Series
- "Is the baby still there?" - Bret Saberhagen (see above)
- "Little squibber to the right side, Worrell racing to cover and the throw doesn't get him! - ABC Sports announcer Al Michaels calling Don Denkinger's infamous call in Game 6
- "Looks like he's out!" - ABC Sports color commentator Jim Palmer pointing out Don Denkinger's mistake.
- "And there's a blooper to right field for a base hit! Concepcion scores! Here comes Sundberg! Here comes the throw...he scores!!! We go to a seventh!!!" - Al Michaels
- "That's Whitey Herzog screaming at Don Denkinger!" - ABC Sports color commentator Tim McCarver talking about the Cardinal manager's frustrations with the home plate umpire in Game 7.
- "To (Darryl) Motley...for the title! The Kansas City Royals are the 1985 World Champions." - Al Michaels
- "Eleven to nothing. The one-oh pitch...fly ball, Motley going back to the track...no outs to go! The Royals have won the 1985 World Series. And they converge on the mound in celebration!" - Denny Matthews
- 1985 World Series by Baseball Almanac
- Baseball-Reference.com > Postseason > 1985 World Series
- History of the World Series - 1985
- 1985 Kansas City Royals
- 1985 St. Louis Cardinals
- K.C. Had A Blast
|Major League Baseball World Series|