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Donnie Moore
Born: February 13, 1954
Lubbock, Texas
Died: July 18, 1989 (aged 35)
Anaheim, California
Batted: Left Threw: Right 
MLB debut
September 14, 1975 for the Chicago Cubs
Last MLB appearance
August 7, 1988 for the California Angels
Career statistics
Win-Loss record     43-40
Earned run average     3.67
Saves     89
Strikeouts     416
Career highlights and awards

Donnie Ray Moore (February 13, 1954 ‚Äď July 18, 1989) was an American relief pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the Chicago Cubs (1975, 1977-79), St. Louis Cardinals (1980), Milwaukee Brewers (1981), Atlanta Braves (1982-84) and California Angels (1985-88).


Playing career

In a 13-season career, Moore posted a 43-40 record with 89 saves, 416 strikeouts, and a 3.67 ERA in 655 innings. He was selected as an All-Star in 1985.

A native of Lubbock, Texas, Moore is most remembered for the home run he gave up as an Angel to Dave Henderson in Game 5 of the 1986 American League Championship Series with only one more strike needed to clinch the team's first-ever pennant, allowing the Boston Red Sox to come back and win.

Moore was battling injury at the time of that game, and was never able to remain injury-free following it. After saving only 9 more games in 41 appearances over the next two seasons, Moore was released by the Angels. He signed with the Kansas City Royals for the 1989 season, but played only in the minor leagues before being released in June of that year, ending his 14-year career in baseball.


Game 5 of the 1986 ALCS

The game took place on October 12, 1986 in Anaheim. The Angels held a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series against the Boston Red Sox. In the game, the Angels held a 5-2 lead going into the ninth inning. Boston scored two runs on a home run by Don Baylor (scoring Dave Stapleton, who was pinch-running for Bill Buckner), closing the gap to 5-4.

When Moore came in to shut down the rally, there were two outs and a runner on first base (Rich Gedman, who had been hit by a pitch). The Angels were one strike away from advancing to the World Series. Dave Henderson hit a 2-2 pitch off Moore for a home run, giving the Red Sox a 6-5 lead. The Angels were able to score a run in the bottom of the ninth, pushing the game into extra innings.

The pitch . . . To left field and deep, and Downing goes back. And it's gone! Unbelievable! Astonishing! Anaheim Stadium was one strike away from turning into Fantasyland! The Red Sox lead 6-5! You're looking at one for the ages here. The Red Sox get four runs in the ninth on a pair of two-run homers by Don Baylor and Dave Henderson.
‚ÄĒAl Michaels, ABC-TV.

Moore remained in the game for the Angels; he was able to stifle a 10th inning Red Sox rally by getting Jim Rice to ground into a double play. Nevertheless, the Red Sox were able to score off Moore in the 11th inning via a sacrifice fly by Henderson. The Angels could not score in the bottom of the 11th, and lost the game 7-6.

The defeat still left the Angels with a 3-2 advantage, with two more games to play at Fenway Park. However, the Angels were not able to close it out, losing both games by wide margins, 10-4 and 8-1.

In the public perception, Moore became indelibly associated with the Angels' loss of the pennant, in much the same manner that Bill Buckner became associated with the Red Sox' subsequent loss of the World Series later that year.


On July 18, 1989, during an argument with his wife Tonya, Moore shot her three times, the incident occurring in view of their three children at their Anaheim Hills home.[1][2] Tonya Moore and daughter Demetria, then 17 years of age, fled from the house and Demetria drove her mother to the hospital. Both survived the shooting.

Back inside the house, still in the presence of one of his sons, Moore then fatally shot himself.[1]

When he was cut by Kansas City, he'd really been depressed about that. I mean, here he is, the high-life career . . . then all of a sudden, it's gone. He comes back home . . . and the marriage, the family, is all destroyed. I mean, what else does he have left?[3]

‚ÄĒ Demetria Moore on what drove her father to his final acts of desperation

See also


  1. ^ a b The Obituary for Donnie Moore The Dead Ball Era, Retrieved on 11 January 2008
  2. ^ Wielenga, Dave (2006-03-30). "Year Zero". Orange County Weekly. Retrieved 2008-07-05.  
  3. ^ Just a Game? The Tragic Story of Donnie Moore Steve Hofstetter, Retrieved on 11 January 2008

External links


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