Sunday, February 13, 2011


On February 13, 1954, Donnie Moore is born. Of course Moore is best known for his performance in Game 5 of the 1986 ALCS. The Angels were up three games to one in the best-of-seven series against the Red Sox. The Angels held a 5-2 lead going into the ninth inning, when Boston scored two runs on a home run by Don Baylor and cut the lead to 5-4.

The Angels brought in their closer, Moore, to shut down the rally. There were two outs and a runner on first and the Angels were one strike away from advancing to the World Series for the first time ever. But then all of a sudden Hendu (Dave Henderson) hit a 2-2 pitch off of Moore for a home run, giving the Red Sox a 6-5 lead.

What most don't remember is the Angels were able to score a run in the bottom of the ninth, pushing the game into extra innings. Moore stayed in the game and was able to stifle a 10th inning Red Sox rally. The Sox, however were able to score off Moore in the 11th inning on a sac fly by Hendu and the Angels would end up losing the game 7-6.

The Angels were still up 3-2, but were trounced in games 6 and 7 in Boston. Much like Bill Buckner would become forever linked to, and unfairly blamed for, the Red Sox loss in the World Series that year, so was Moore linked to the Angels not winning the pennant.

For the next 2 years, every time Moore walked onto the field, the Angels fans booed him. They were relentless, and it wore on Moore.

Less then three years after Game 5, 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. Tonya and their 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, tragically, Moore then fatally shot himself.

"While it is easy to say that had Moore recorded the save, his life would have been much better and probably much longer, it is just as easy to say that the one pitch the Times describes was far from the only factor in his eventual death."- Steve Hostetter

While Game Five and the way the fans would go on to treat Moore certainly contributed somewhat to his eventual suicide, there were clearly other things going on as well. Still, makes you think about the emotional toll your boos can take on professional athletes.

Donnie Moore

February 13, 1954- July 18, 1989

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