For the Record


Tom Hallion (right) made a controversial call Saturday.

Umpires are human beings and make mistakes. When it happens in October, the blunder is magnified. First base umpire Tom Hallion made a bad call that went against the Phillies in Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday night. Carl Crawford laid down a drag bunt up the first-base line. Philllies pitcher Jamie Moyer made a terrific play to get the ball and flipped it out of his glove to Ryan Howard, who caught it with his bare hand before Crawford reached the base. Hallion called Crawford safe and the Rays went on to score two runs in the seventh inning and added a run in the eighth to tie it.

But in the end, Hallion's blown call meant little when the Phillies scored a run in the ninth to beat the Rays 5-4.

Here are five other controversial calls in the World Series history.

5. Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda was literally spitting mad as he protested a call that went against his team in Game 4 of the 1978 World Series. Reggie Jackson was in the middle of the game-changing play, one that quite possibly changed the series. The Dodgers had a 3-1 lead in the sixth inning and the Yankees had runners on first and second when Lou Piniella hit a line drive at Los Angeles shortstop Bill Russell. Russell dropped the ball, picked it up and stepped on second for the force out. He attempted to turn the double play with a throw to first, but the ball wound up in right field when Jackson, standing in the base line, appeared to stick his hip out to deflect the throw. A run scored on the play and the Yankees tied it with a run in the eighth before winning it in the 10th on Piniella's RBI single to even the series at 2-2.

4. Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk's home run in the 12th inning was the signature moment of the 1975 World Series, one of the greatest Fall Classics. Fisk was also involved in a pivotal play that helped the Reds win Game 3. Cincinnati's Cesar Geronimo led off the 10th inning with a single when pinch hitter Ed Armbrister dropped a bunt that bounced high in front of the plate. As Fisk reached up to field the ball, he collided with Armbrister and made a wild throw to second trying to get Geronimo. Red Sox manager Darrell Johnson protested to plate umpire Larry Barnett that Armbrister should have been called out for interfering with Fisk and Geronimo should return to first. But Fisk was charged with an error. Minutes later, Joe Morgan's single scored Geronimo to give the Reds a 6-5 victory. Red Sox fans never forgave or forgot Barnett's call, booing him whenever he was at Fenway Park until his retirement in 1999.

3. Plate umpire Ken Burkhart did what umpires are instructed to do -- make a call even if you're unsure. And that is exactly what Burkhart did, despite never seeing the close play at home in Game 1 of the 1970 World Series between the Orioles and Reds. Cincinnati's Ty Cline hit a chopper in front of the plate with Bernie Carbo on third. As Carbo ran down the line, Burkhart went to position himself in front of the plate and got in the way of Orioles catcher Elrod Hendricks. Burkhart was knocked down and had his back to the play when Hendricks tagged Carbo with his glove. Burkhart turned around, saw that Hendricks had the ball and called Carbo out. But Hendricks had the ball in his bare hand when he tagged Carbo with his glove. The Orioles maintained the lead 4-3 and won by the same score.

2. In Game 1 of the 1955 World Series between the Yankees and Dodgers, Jackie Robinson stole home in the eighth inning. Whitey Ford's pitch reached the plate before Robinson and catcher Yogi Berra appeared to apply the tag. But umpire Bill Summers called Robinson safe. The mild-mannered Berra was anything but as he protested vehemently. The Yankees wound up winning 6-5 but lost the Series in seven games.

1. A blown call by first base umpire Don Denkinger very well may have cost the St. Louis Cardinals the 1985 World Series. And it wasn't even close. Royals pinch hitter Jorge Orta, leading off the ninth with Kansas City 1-0, hit a slow grounder up the line and was clearly out as first baseman Jack Clark fielded the ball and flipped it to pitcher Todd Worrell. However, Denkinger ruled Orta safe. Later in the inning, the Royals got another break on a passed ball by Cardinals catcher Darrell Porter, allowing the potential tying and winning runs to move into scoring position. After an intentional walk loaded the bases, pinch hitter Dane Iorg delivered a two-run, game-winning single with two outs, forcing an anti-climatic seventh game that Kansas City 11-0.

October 30, 2013  10:05 AM ET

The Burkhart call in 1970 Series was during my first World Series game in person. Very exciting. Minor correction -- the score was 3-3 in the sixth when Carbo was called out. Brooks Robinson hit a solo HR in top of 7th for 4-3 lead.


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