35 years ago today: A memorable date for Marty McFly and Don Denkinger

The dashboard of the 'Back to the Future' DeLorean, bearing a date on which a World Series championship slipped away from the Cardinals.

In a celluloid land 35 years ago today, Marty McFly went back in time in a DeLorean. That was on Oct. 26, 1985.

In a land where the turf was artificial but the baseball was very real 35 years ago today, Don Denkinger became known to St. Louis Cardinals fans for, most likely, the first time. If only he could go back in time to change that.

Royals Stadium, 1985 World Series, Game 6, bottom of the ninth inning. Closer Todd Worrell on the hill, trying to protect a 1-0 lead for the Cardinals, who are three outs away from clinching a world championship. Leadoff hitter Jorge Orta at the plate for Kansas City. Chopper to first baseman Jack Clark, who tosses to Worrell covering first.

First base umpire Denkinger’s call: Safe.

What’s clear on TV replays: Out.

But there was no replay review in those days, no appeals to New York to get it right. The call stands, despite manager Whitey Herzog’s strong protests, and the Royals win it four batters later. Twenty-four hours after that, the Royals take Game 7 in a rout.

And it happens on the date Doc Brown’s time machine makes its maiden voyage, a date that will live in movie lore — and Cardinals infamy.