Actor Jon Hamm remembers 1985 World Series
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Apparently, Don Draper has a little bone to pick with Don Denkinger.
Golden Globe winner Jon Hamm, who plays Draper on the television drama “Mad Men,” showed up for a celebrity Wiffle Ball game Friday at Kauffman Stadium wearing a blue Royals jersey adorned with the number 85 and the name “DENKINGER” across the back.
“It’s my own little nod to 1985,” the St. Louis native told FOX Sports.com before that night’s Royals-Cardinals baseball game.
Hamm’s “nod” was a less-than-subtle reference to the 1985 World Series — the “I-70 Series” between the Royals and St. Louis Cardinals. Kansas City won, four games to three, for the franchise’s first — and to date only — championship.
Denkinger, a veteran American League umpire, was working first base during Game 6 of the 1985 World Series. His ninth-inning call that Jorge Orta was safe on a close play at the bag — a call Denkinger has openly admitted that he blew; the ball beat Orta by half a step — wound up swinging momentum toward the Royals, who were trailing, 1-0, at the time.
Kansas City rallied to win Game 6 and rolled in Game 7, 11-0, to take the series.
Like a lot of Redbird faithful, Hamm — a big-time Cardinals fan — hasn’t forgotten Denkinger, who retired after the 1998 season.
“They won’t let me wear a Cardinals hat anymore,” the actor continued, “so I was forced to change into this. That’s OK. It’s a good gig.”
Hamm actually did change, though, once the game got underway. He was spotted wearing a Cardinals cap while watching the contest with his fellow celebrities inside a field-level box up the first-base line.
The Missouri native was one of 26 actors/comedians in town as part of the “2012 Big Slick Celebrity Weekend,” a two-day charity event that benefits Children’s Mercy Hospitals & Clinics in Kansas City. “Big Slick” is hosted by actors Rob Riggle (“The Hangover”), Paul Rudd (“Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy”), and Jason Sudekis (“Hall Pass”), all of whom hail from greater Kansas City.
Hamm is scheduled to return to Kauffman Stadium in a few weeks, where he’ll participate in the Taco Bell All-Star Legends & Celebrity Softball game here on July 8. There’s no word yet, though, as to whether the Denkinger jersey will be coming with him.
You can follow Sean Keeler on Twitter @seankeeler or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org