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  • The Boston Red Sox in general can be summed up in one phrase: the Curse of the Bambino. For 86 years, the franchise dealt with the embarrassment of selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1919 and watching him become the greatest player ever. This was supposedly why they never again won the World Series in that time span — though the idea of a "curse" didn't really become popular until Dan Shaughnessy wrote a book about it in 1990. The Sox finally eliminated the stigma once and for all in 2004 by beating the Yankees in the greatest comeback ever and then finishing off the Cardinals in the World Series. And in case you thought that was a fluke, they've managed to win it thrice more since then (in 2007, 2013 and 2018).
    • Among the heart-breakers during that time span were the Red Sox winning four pennants only to lose each World Series in Game 7. In three of the clinchers, they were leading, and in two of those by three runs. They also lost two tiebreakers against teams that finished the season with identical records: one against the Indians in 1948 (spoiling an all-Boston World Series as the then-Boston Braves had won the National League pennant) and the other against the Yankees in 1978. Before the 2004 comeback, the Red Sox also lost the 1999 and 2003 ALCS to the Yankees.
    • They will also have a hard time forgetting, largely because Yankees and Rays fans love to bring it up, the time in 2011 when they became the first MLB team in the Wild Card era to enter September with a 9 game lead for a playoff spot and miss the postseason. They went an abysmal 7-20 in that September, which was capped off by losing the final game of the season even though they entered the 9th inning with the lead, the first time they had blown a 9th inning lead all year, previously being 77-0. That same night, the Tampa Bay Rays beat the New York Yankees (who had clinched the division and were resting a lot of key players) by coming back to tie the game in the ninth inning, and win in extra innings, stealing the Wild Card berth from the Red Sox. The stories about the Red Sox partying with fried chicken and beer in the clubhouse only added fuel to the fire.
    • The Red Sox are also infamous for being the last of the original Major League teams to integrate, signing Pumpsie Green twelve years after Jackie Robinson played his first game. Ironically, Jackie Robinson was given a try out for the team in 1945 (that was more for lip service than an actual effort to judge his talent).
    • The Red Sox also won't live down their 2018 World Series win being tainted by then-manager Alex Cora's role in a massive sign-stealing scandal. By many counts, this vindicates opposing manager Dave Roberts' pitching changes in Game 4 of that series (mentioned below).
  • It won't matter how many more World Series titles the New York Yankees have won since. Among Yankee detractors — which is everyone who is not a rabid Yankees fan — they will always be remembered as the team who quite spectacularly choked away the 2004 ALCS, allowing the Boston Red Sox to overcome a three games to zero deficit to win it 4-3 — the first (and as of 2020 only) time in the history of baseball that such a thing has happened.
  • The Chicago Cubs claim the dubious distinction of having had the longest championship drought of any North American team from any sport; prior to winning the World Series in 2016, they hadn't done so since 1908. (Just for reference, this was only five years after the first-ever World Series in 1903.)note  In 2015, another one was added in the eyes of Back to the Future fans: losing the National League Championship Series in 2015. On October 21. Against the other Memetic Losers of the National League — the Mets.
    • Ever wonder why the Cubs had such a long drought in the first place? You can thank Billy Sianis, owner of the Billy Goat Tavern, for bringing his pet billy goat Murphy to Wrigley Field one fateful day in 1945 without first taking the time to clean him up. For that he was removed from the park, defiantly declaring, "Them Cubs, they ain't gonna win no more!" Since the ensuing drought meant it was 108 years between World Series titles for the Cubs, it probably wouldn't be a surprise if Sianis turned out to be a Buddhist, but regardless, that incident is practically the only thing anyone remembers him for.
    • Mets 2B Daniel Murphy was declared a GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) by the Mets fanbase for his postseason heroics in getting the Mets to the Series that year. Murphy himself will forever be linked to the original billy goat for his role in making the Lovable Losers literally wait 'til next year.
    • This is more understandable than most other instances of this trope, since the 108-year drought constitutes 91% of the Cubs' history.
  • Since the Cubs finally won it all in 2016, the longest active championship drought in MLB belongs to the team they faced in the Series that year: the Cleveland Indians, who have a rather checkered history of their own.
    1. No World Series championship since 1948 (72 years and counting, as of the 2020 regular season).
    2. Got swept by the Giants in the 1954 Series, despite posting 111 wins in the regular season that year.
    3. From 1960 to 1993, they never finished higher than third place, and they managed that only once (1968). Many Tribe fans blamed this drought on the team's trading popular outfielder Rocky Colavito to the Detroit Tigers at the start of the 1960 season. It also didn't help that the team played its home games in massive, outdated Cleveland Stadium, aka the "Mistake by the Lake".
    4. In 1974 they held Ten Cent Beer Night, which led to a massive ninth-inning fan riot that caused the Tribe to forfeit the game and is now remembered as the most disastrous ballpark promotion outside of Disco Demolition Night (see the White Sox below).
    5. Came within three outs of winning the 1997 World Series, but allowed the Marlins to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth. They eventually lost on a walk-off single by Édgar Rentería in the 11th.
    6. And, of course, for the Values Dissonance of their team name and especially their cartoonish "Chief Wahoo" logo, which have come to be seen by many as insensitive to the Native American community. The latter had been downplayed in the team's marketing and was retired for good after the 2018 season.
  • Even if the team has won two World Series titles, mention the New York Mets and all everybody seems to remember about is their futility.
    1. Going 40-120 in their first season of existence.
    2. Not finishing higher than ninth place in each of their first seven seasons.
    3. Winning the NL East in 2006 with a record of 97–65 (the best record in baseball that year), but then losing the NLCS in seven games to the St. Louis Cardinals, who were 83–78. To add further insult to injury, the Cardinals then went on to win the World Series by defeating the Detroit Tigers in five games while the Mets would not make the playoffs for another nine years.
    4. Suffering an epic collapse toward the end of the 2007 season, losing twelve of their last seventeen games and blowing a seven-game NL East lead.
    5. Having to pay two-time trade bust Bobby Bonilla a yearly salary every July 1 since 2009, to the tune of roughly $1.2 million. In addition to this being years after his retirement, the deal won't expire until 2035. Happy Bobby Bonilla Day, Mets faithful!
    6. Going 50 seasons without a pitcher throwing a no-hitter until Johan Santana did so in 2012; that's more than 8,000 games. During that time, the Mets were no-hit six times. To make matters worse, seven pitchers tossed no-hitters after leaving the Mets, most notably Nolan Ryan who threw seven.
    7. Thrashing the Cubs in the 2015 National League Championship Series, only to lose to the Kansas City Royals in the World Series. Cue triumphant cries of "That was for Chicago!" as though the Mets were getting karmic retribution for screwing the Cubs.
  • The San Diego Padres passed the Mets for longest streak without their first no-hitter on May 16, 2019, finally getting their first on April 9, 2021. They are also notable for being no-hit by a player on LSD (Dock Ellis).
  • The Phillies' former home of Veterans Stadium which was built on marshlands, on top of its artificial turf, will never be able to escape the fact that the Phillies have lost more players to glioblastoma than any other team, especially after the loss of former Philly Darren Daulton to glioblastoma in August 2017. It doesn't help that all casualties had played for the Phillies while they made it their home (with the exception of Gary Carter who played as a visitor), even if a specific link hasn't been conclusively proven.
    • The Phillies are also infamous for the "Phold" or "Phlop" of 1964, which saw the team in first place by 6½ games with 12 left to play. They then proceeded to lose their next ten straight including key games against the Cardinals and Reds, therefore allowing the both teams to gain ground in what became a pennant race. The Phillies won their last two games of the season against the Reds but by that point it was too late. The Cardinals had already clinched the pennant and would go onto defeat the Yankees in that year's World Series.
    • Another ignoble feature of the team is its general losing history. The Phillies were the first team in professional sports history to surpass 10,000 losses (in part due to their age, in part due to the size of baseball's schedule compared to other sports, and in part due to formerly holding the record for most consecutive losing seasons), and also holding the distinction of once having the longest championship drought in baseball (eventually surpassed by the aforementioned Cubs in 2006).
    • The Phillies are the last non-expansion franchise to win a World Series, having done so for the first time in 1980. Said victory took place after ten teams were added to the majors, and one (the New York Mets) had already beaten them to it.
  • Much like what happened with the Red Sox in 2011, detractors of the Atlanta Braves also love to bring up their collapse which happened in the same season, no less. On August 23, the Braves were ahead by 9½ games in the Wild Card with 32 left to play. Their record after that? 11-21, including a three game sweep at the hands of the Phillies at home to end their season. The team that took their place in the playoffs and would eventually win it all? The St. Louis Cardinals.
    • Though they don't take as much flack as the Indians, the Braves are also infamous for being named after a Native American branding. The Braves adopted this name in 1912 while the team was located in Boston, and talk of it never took off until they faced the Indians in the 1995 World Series. A tradition shared by their own fans called the "Tomahawk Chop" isn't helping their case.
    • The Braves of the 90’s and early 2000’s led by Bobby Cox was one of the most dominate teams of the MLB, capturing 14 division titles and five World Series appearances, yet only having ONE World Series trophy to show for it. The Braves of that era are often compared to the 90’s Buffalo Bills of the NFL, despite their sheer dominance; they had little to show for it.
  • After many years of coming close in the past, the Houston Astros finally won the World Series for the first time in 2017. Then it was revealed towards the end of 2019 that the team cheated during the whole season by using cameras to steal pitching signals, including during the ALCS and World Series. note  This got manager A.J. Hinch and general manager Jeff Luhnow suspended for the entirety of the 2020 season (it also cost them their jobs with the Astros). Now, their only World Series win in franchise history is forever tainted, with the players involved becoming pariahs among their fellow ballplayers.
    • Prior to that, the Astros sold the naming rights of their then-new ballpark to Enron a year before the company got caught in a massive accounting scandal and subsequently went belly-up. For a time before Coca-Cola subsidiary Minute Maid bought the rights, the park was (and sometimes still is) referred to as "The Field Formerly Known as Enron" after the deal was terminated.
  • The Chicago White Sox are best known for the "Black Sox" scandal, in which eight players conspired to throw the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds and were later banned from Major League Baseball. Immortalized by a legend involving a little boy's quote "Say it ain't so, Joe!" is Shoeless Joe Jackson, despite having a .356 career batting average and a record twelve hits in that World Series.
    • Under the ownership of Bill Veeck, it was also the White Sox who hosted the ill-conceived "Disco Demolition Night" promotion in 1979, in which fans were encouraged to bring in disco records for a local rock DJ to blow up on the field between games of a doubleheader. Things backfired when fans started throwing records from the stands, then stormed the field, ripping up grass, building a massive bonfire, and forcing the team to forfeit the second game.
    • The home field where the White Sox currently play has a rather unorthodox history. It opened as Comiskey Park II in 1991, touted as being state-of-the-art at the time. As the "neo-classical" ballpark boom took place later that decade and beyond, the new Comiskey was relegated to a generic bore. Then in 2003, U.S. Cellular bought the naming rights, much to the chagrin of White Sox fans. It took them a while to adapt to the change, and by the time they finally did, Guaranteed Rate stepped in and purchased the rights in 2016. If that wasn't bad enough, the corporation refused to change the downward pointing arrow in the park's logo, and it soon became the subject of ridicule to South Siders and sports commentators alike. Fans eventually started referring to the park as "The Arrow" and "The G-Spot".
  • With the Washington Nationals winning their first pennant (and World Series as well) in 2019, the Seattle Mariners now hold the distinction of being the only team in the majors never to have played in a World Series. They are also notorious for winning 116 games in 2001, the most since the 1906 Chicago Cubs, only to lose that year's ALCS to the Yankees. That is their most recent postseason appearance.
  • The San Francisco Giants of the 2010’s, also known the “Even Year Giants”, led by manager Bruce Bochy is highly regarded among baseball fans for having one of the most successful runs in MLB postseason history as well as ridding the Giants of the slightly lesser known Curse of Coogan's Bluff. The Giants would win three World Series trophies in 2010, 2012 and 2014 as well as having stellar regular seasons in said years. However, many people debate whether or not the 2010’s Giants should be labeled a dynasty. Arguments from detractors range from to how inconsistent the Giants were in between the “odd years” to the point of missing the playoffs and also point out that the Giants never repeated as champions as “other dynasties do”. Ignoring the fact that winning two championships in such a short timespan is a tough feat within itself, let alone three. Nonetheless, the “Even Year Giants” are still held in high regard.
  • The Minnesota Twins are having a hard time living down a record eighteen-game postseason losing streak dating back to 2004. This includes being swept four times in the ALDS, losing a Wild Card game and another sweep in the inaugural Wild Card series.

  • Alex Rodriguez was once thought of as one of the best players in the world, winning multiple MVP awards and was a perennial All-Star, with many people thinking he would break the all-time home run record one day. His reputation for being a diva began to sour on some people, when he made the first of his NLID moments:
    • Slapping the ball out of Bronson Arroyo's glove in the 2004 ALCS. A blatant act that is an automatic out, he looked to get away with it until Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona came out to argue and got the umps to over turn the call. This in turn led most of Yankee Stadium to begin hurling trash out onto the field, delaying the game, and leading a squad of riot police to guard the fence in foul territory.
    • Yelling "Ha, I got it!" on a routine pop-up against the Toronto Blue Jays. This one he did get away with.note 
    • Getting caught twice for PED use, nullifying all of his previous accomplishments in the eyes of public opinion and ruining any chance of going into the Hall of Fame. This one got softened a bit, though, when he recovered enough from a year-long suspension issued for the latter PED incident to score his 3000th hit in 2015 (keep in mind that at that point he had become a senior citizen by player standards).
    • Regardless of all else, he will always be a candidate for Public Enemy Number One in North Texas for signing a ten-year, $250 million contract with the Rangers in 2000, declaring he would take the Rangers to a World Series — and then getting traded to the Yankees after three years of last-place finishes and saying he never would have signed there if he'd known it was going to just be him "and twenty-five kids," not considering the possibility that his salary hampered the teams' chances of improving the talent around him. It all led to poetic justice in the minds of Rangers fans when he was the last out of the 2010 ALCS, taking strike three from Neftali Feliz to clinch the Rangers' first ever pennant; people in both Dallas and New York said afterward, "A-Rod finally made good on his promise to get the Rangers in the World Series."
  • Jose Canseco was at one time one of the best players in baseball. A former MVP and Rookie of the Year, the first man ever to steal forty bases and hit forty homers in a season, and six-time All-Star, he is now better known for: his heavy use of steroids, being such a jerk that he was traded while he was on the on-deck circle, letting a catchable ball hit his head and bounce off for a home run, blowing out his elbow in a pitching appearance just a few days after the last incident, and now he's blown off one of his fingers while cleaning his gun.
    • To this day, Canseco is also derided for being a misogynist by making his wife pump gas (while he sat in the car) on their way home from Candlestick Park right after the Loma Prieta earthquake delayed Game 3 of the 1989 World Series. In truth, Canseco's been Mis-blamed for this one, since his wife pumping the gas instead of him was her idea; Canseco left Candlestick in his full A's uniform, and they didn't want to create a stir at the gas station.
    • Thanks to his Twitter account and his Reddit AMA, he is also known for being a huge Cloud Cuckoolander.
  • Bill Buckner was one of the best-hitting first basemen of his era, winning the 1980 National League batting title and finishing his career with over 2700 hits. Yet all anyone seems to remember about him is the error that he made in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series.
    • Made even more unfair in that if he had made the play it would only have preserved a tie score! The Mets were down two runs, with two outs, and nobody on, before three straight two-out hits and a wild pitch tied the score. History, however, always implies that if he'd made the play the Sox would've been champs at that moment.
      • Thankfully, Buckner has since been Vindicated by History, with most of the blame in recent years going to John McNamara for keeping Buckner on the field (he wanted Buckner in play to celebrate a victory), Calvin Schiraldi for letting the rally start to begin with, and Bob Stanley for the blown save, including a wild pitch that let Kevin Mitchell score the tying run.
    • On top of that, even if he had fielded the ball cleanly, there's no guarantee he would have gotten the out. He was playing on two bad wheels thanks to a long list of injuries,note  and the batter, Mookie Wilson, was known for his speed (it's been said that he could get from the batter's box to first base in less than 4 seconds).
    • When the team commemorated the hundredth anniversary of Fenway Park, Buckner was among the dozens of former Red Sox to show up and briefly take the field as part of the celebration. He received thunderous applause as he emerged from the Green Monster.
  • Bob Stanley once held the Red Sox club record for saves (surpassed by Jonathan Papelbon) but is best known for throwing the game-tying wild pitch in that same Game 6.
  • Cubs shortstop Alex Gonzalez will be forever known for messing up a routine double-play in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS. He could have gotten his team out of the inning still up 3-1 but the Marlins went onto score seven more runs and the Cubs eventually lost the series.
  • Luis Castillo has his own moment. On June 12, 2009, the New York Mets were beating their crosstown rival Yankees 8–7 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth and runners on first and second. Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez hit a pop-up to Castillo that should have been the final out. Except Castillo somehow dropped the ball, allowing both runners to score and giving the Yankees a stunning 9–8 victory.
  • Try mentioning the name Aaron Heilman around a bunch of Mets fans and see how they react. Heilman has a few NLID moments, but his most famous one would be surrendering a ninth-inning two-run home run to Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina in the seventh game of the 2006 National League Championship Series. Heilman suffered the loss for that game as the Cardinals held on to win the game … and the pennant.
  • Armando Galarraga had a hard time living down his 2010 "near-perfect game" incident with the Detroit Tigers; there was a month in 2012 where he wasn't on any baseball team's roster, major or minor, because front offices were superstitiously afraid to touch him, and he never really gained a solid position in any team's rotation prior to his retirement in 2015. He's also stated that the near-perfect game still comes up all the time.
    • Jason Donald, the 27th Cleveland Indians batter who was erroneously called "safe" in that game, is likewise mostly known for said distinction, and even he was skeptical as to why he was called safe, he later said that he was certain he would have been called out.
  • Chase Utley is a well-regarded player who spent most of his career with the Philadelphia Phillies, but he will probably have a hard time living down accidentally injuring New York Mets shortstop Rubén Tejada on a slide that spawned a rule-change next season. During the second game of the 2015 National League Division Series, Utley (now playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers) slid hard into second base in an attempt to break up what could have been an inning-ending double play. However, he struck Tejada as he tried to one-leg spin around to make the throw at first base and get the double play, knocking his foot out from under him and breaking his leg. Tejada ended up with a broken right fibula, while the Dodgers, who were trailing 2–1 at the time, rallied to win 5–2. Utley was suspended for two games for violating Official Baseball Rule 5.09 (a) (13), which is designed to protect fielders from precisely this type of rolling block that occurs away from the base. However, he appealed the suspension and was allowed to play for the rest of the postseason run. The appeal was ultimately successful as the league concluded he had not actually broken the rule and Utley faced no penalty. (The "takeout slide" was legal at the time if a part of the runner's body makes an attempt to touch the base. Utley's left hand was close enough to qualify even if the rest of his body was away from the bag.) It was not surprising that in the next game (held at Citi Field in New York), Utley was booed by the Mets’ fans upon his introduction. As of 2016, a new rule regarding "takeout slides" was made: a takeout slide to break up a double-play is legal, but the slide must be directed at the base and the player must try to stop at the base and not overrun it, otherwise it's called interference. The "neighborhood play" (an allowance that a fielder making a double-play attempt from second to first does not have to actually touch second base as long as his foot is in the 'neighborhood' of the bag, to prevent the player from being injured by takeout slides) is also gone: the fielder must touch the base to get the out at second. This rule-change is now being referred to as "the Chase Utley rule".
  • Robin Ventura played in the majors for fifteen seasons. He was a three-time All-Star and a five-time Golden Glove (best defensive player at his position) winner. Most, of course, only remember Ventura being on the wrong end on one of the most hilariously one-sided fights in baseball history: On August 4, 1993, as the Chicago White Sox were visiting the Texas Rangers, Ventura charged the mound after getting hit by a pitch from the legendary Ranger Nolan Ryan (a player twenty years Ventura's senior). Ryan simply grabbed Ventura in a headlock and basically gave him "knuckle noogies" until Ryan's teammates separated them.
    • The Rangers frequently show a historical highlight reel prior to games at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington (now Globe Life Park in Arlington) that includes four Ryan highlights: the 5000th strikeout, the sixth and seventh no-hitters, and the Ventura incident. Guess which one always gets the most cheers. Whether it's overshadowed all those on-field accomplishments or if dominating a player barely half his age in a brawl is just icing on the cake is an opinion.
      • In 2013, the Ballpark abstained from showing the fight whenever the White Sox came to town. Ventura, who was managing the White Sox at the time, and Ryan, then Rangers principal owner and CEO (he sold his stake in the team near the end of the 2013 season after a dispute with the majority owners), finally decided to bury the hatchet. Of course, it's shown during every other home game; Rangers Nation won't let it go that easily.
    • Mets fans remember Ventura for the "grand slam single" he hit to win Game 5 of the 1999 NLCS against Atlanta. Why is it called a grand slam single, you ask? Ventura hit the homer and began to round the bases as normal, only for his teammates to rush out of the dugout and mob him in celebration before he finished circling the bases, meaning that the hit counted as a single instead.
  • George Brett, despite finishing his career with more than 3100 hits, is forever remembered for throwing a huge fit in 1983 when an umpire disallowed a home run for too much pine tar on his bat (a ruling that was later overturned). He doesn't mind this, though, since before that incident he was remembered for suffering from hemorrhoids during the 1980 World Series.
    • Also, Brett was picked off first base right after he got his 3,000th career hit.
  • Steve Garvey is an All-Star baseball player and successful businessman. But ever since two paternity suits in 1989, he's become "that guy with all the kids all over the place".
    • This is mainly thought of as the reason why Garvey was never elected to Hall of Fame despite his successful career, though Garvey himself blames the inflated stats of PED users.
    • For fans of Cheap Seats, "paternity suits" is replaced with "stunningly unfunny host of 'celebrity' sporting events."
  • Rodney McCray was a player of little note, having played in only sixty-seven games over parts of three seasons in the majors (the MLB regular season consists of 162 games), however one play of his is noted in the Hall of Fame: running full tilt through an outfield wall in a minor league game at PGE Park in Portland, Oregon. There's even a bobblehead doll of him crashing through the fence.
  • Roberto Alomar: Over 2700 career hits. Twelve All-Star appearances. Ten Gold Gloves. Led the Toronto Blue Jays to back-to-back championships, the only ones in team history. Elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. What's he remembered for? Spitting on an umpire. Alomar narrowly missed being elected to the Hall his first time on the ballot. It's speculated that the spitting incident caused some writers to keep him off their ballots, though he would easily get in on his second try.
  • Armando Benítez when he was with the Orioles is best remembered for two things, giving up the Jeffrey Maier home run in Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS and triggering a massive bench-clearing brawl when he hit Yankee Tino Martinez with a pitch. After being ejected from that game, Benítez cleared his locker and threatened to quit the team. He didn't, but the Orioles sent him down to the minors.
  • Juan Marichal, another Baseball Hall of Famer, for years was only remembered for an incident in which he attacked Dodgers catcher John Roseboro on the field with a bat.
  • Dave Winfield: 3,110 hits, twelve-time All-Star, seven Gold Gloves, six Silver Sluggers and a Hall of Famer. Mention his name and all people seem to remember him for is the game where he killed a seagull.
  • Randy Johnson is one of the all-time greats at pitching, winning 303 games, striking out 4,875 (second to Nolan Ryan on the all-time list), winning five Cy Young Awards, and getting into the Hall of Fame on the first try, and winning a World Series with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Bring up his name, and most people will remember him accidentally killing a dove with a pitch as it flew in front of the pitcher's mound, hitting the bird and causing an explosion of feathers. When it does get brought up, it's always as one of sports, not just baseball's, strangest moments.
  • Inverted with Rick Monday. He was an above-average outfielder who played for almost twenty seasons—among his highlights were two All-Star appearances and a World Series ring—and has been a broadcaster with the Dodgers for another twenty more, yet all most people remember him for is the time he saved the American flag from being burned in center field by a father-son duo at Dodger Stadium. As this page attests to, you can be immortalized for worse things.
  • Roger Clemens, despite being one of the most feared pitchers in the majors, is now remembered for being suspected of lying before Congress when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs. (He was acquitted, though most observers suspected it was because his accuser was even less credible than Clemens.)
    • Clemens also had a terrific meltdown after being ejected from Game 4 of the 1990 ALCS for arguing balls and strikes.
    • And also for throwing a piece of a shattered bat at Mike Piazza's direction during Game 2 of the 2000 World Series. Earlier in the season, Piazza missed that year's All-Star Game due to a concussion he sustained from a Clemens beanball.
  • Bert Campaneris who was a part of the Athletics' dynasty in the 70s is best known, especially among Tigers fans, for throwing his bat at Detroit pitcher Lerrin LaGrow after he got hit in the ankle. Even worse, he did this in the American League Championship Series and as a result was suspended for the remainder.
  • John Rocker was a mostly-solid player for the Atlanta Braves who is most remembered for giving a racist and homophobic rant to an interviewer about why he wouldn't want to play in New York City.
  • Randall Simon played for six teams during an unremarkable eight-year career. However, he will always be remembered as the guy who struck the Italian sausage with a bat during a Sausage Race in Milwaukee.
  • Fred Merkle's Boner. And, no, not just because it sounds funny. He is to this day known as "Bonehead" for an error that cost the New York Giants the 1908 pennant. While running to second base, Merkle saw the run that would win the game cross home, and headed to the dugout to celebrate, allowing the Cubs' second baseman Johnny Evers to nullify the run by forcing him out. Less well-known is that this was common practice at the time as the rule against it had rarely been enforced; it was just Merkle's bad luck that Evers was an expert on the official baseball rules.
  • Fred Snodgrass' $30,000 Muff. And, no, not just because it sounds just as funny as Merkle's Boner. When Snodgrass died in 1974, the headline to the New York Times obituary read "Fred Snodgrass, 86, Dead; Ball Player Muffed 1912 Fly". Making matters worse? This was the very game in which Merkle was intent on redeeming himself following the aforementioned boner four years before.
  • Closers in baseball are very susceptible to this, as they are almost always in pressure situations. Some of the most notable:
    • Dennis Eckersley came back from alcoholism to become the pioneer of the one-inning stopper. But he may be most known for giving up Kirk Gibson's home run in the 1988 World Series — especially since Gibson wasn't even expected to play as he could barely walk with his two bad legs.
    • Mitch Williams was never a great closer, but 1993 was his best season with forty-three saves as the Phillies went to the World Series; he even won or saved all four of the Phillies' NLCS wins. Then he became only the second pitcher to give up a World Series-ending walk off home run and his infamy was cemented.
    • Neftalí Feliz spent several years as an effective closer for the Texas Rangers, but his infamy came when he blew a save in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals by giving up a two-out, two-strike, two-run triple to David Freese, tying the game at seven runs each.
      • Similarly, Mark Lowe is best known for something else that happened that same game, he gave up the walk-off home run to Freese that won the game for the Cardinals, who won game 7 to clinch the series the next night.
    • Jonathan Papelbon, who set the club record with 219 saves for the Boston Red Sox, will be forever remembered for his final appearance with the club. In 2011, the Red Sox were tied with the Tampa Bay Rays for the American League Wild Card with one game left to play. They led 3–2 over the last-place Orioles in the bottom of the ninth, but Papelbon blew the save and allowed the winning runs to score. Minutes later, the Rays won their game and clinched the Wild Card by walking off in the bottom of the twelfth.
      • Papelbon has since had two more Never Live It Down moments. Phillies fans remember him best for grabbing his crotch once at a game where he blew a save. Then near the end of the 2015 season, by which time he was with the Washington Nationals, he got into a dugout fight with then-teammate Bryce Harper. The Nats suspended him for the rest of the season.
    • Ralph Branca put up respectable numbers as a pitcher, earning three consecutive All-Star nods from 1947-1949. Whenever he is brought up, it's for giving up the "Shot Heard 'Round the World", a pennant-losing three-run home run to Bobby Thomson of the Giants in 1951. This capped a collapse by the Dodgers as they led the National League by as many as 13½ games with 50 left to play.
    • Donnie Moore is one of the most tragic examples, as he was truly never able to live it down. An effective closer for much of the 1980s, he gave up a home run to Dave Henderson with the Angels one strike away from winning the pennant in 1986; the Angels eventually blew their 3–1 ALCS lead. After more than two years of merciless booing and his release from the team, Moore shot his wife (she survived) and then killed himself.
  • Mariano Rivera could be the ultimate aversion. Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS was the third time in his career he blew a save that would have clinched a postseason series for the Yankees and instead led to them losing it. Many pitchers, as described above, can't live down doing it once — but Rivera bounced right back, reestablished his dominance for years afterwards, and will likely still be remembered as the greatest closer in baseball history, one of few things fans of both the Yankees and the Red Sox will readily agree upon. Unsurprisingly, he became the first unanimous induction into Cooperstown in 2019.
  • During his career, Rob Dibble was a 2x All-Star, a World Series champion, and MVP of the 1990 NLCS with the Cincinnati Reds, however, he is also known for his aggressive temper as much as he is for his accomplishments.
    • He accidentally injured a woman when he threw a ball into the stands after completing a save in 1991.
      • Also in 1991, he threw a ball at Cubs outfielder Doug Dascenzo while the latter was running down the first base line, which resulted in Dibble being ejected.
      • After a game in 1992, he got into a brawl with his own manager, Reds Manager Lou Piniella.
  • Lenny Dykstra had a successful twelve-year baseball career and was popular with fans for his scrappy style of play. However, now he's known for a series of business mistakes which left him millions of dollars in debt and led to him declaring bankruptcy.
    • And now in 2015 he's claimed that as a player, he blackmailed homosexual umpires into giving him better calls at the plate. It's like he's trying to top himself.
  • Pete Rose is at least as well known at this point for his permanent ban from organized baseball due to gambling as he is for his twenty-three-year playing career (which would surely have gotten him in the Hall of Fame on the first ballot if not for the ban), his role in Cincinnati's "Big Red Machine" dynasty of the '70s, his 44-game hitting streak in 1978, his breaking Ty Cobb's all-time hits record in 1985, or the rest of his managerial stint (where he once infamously shoved an umpire during an argument).
    • He's also rather infamous for steamrolling Indians catcher Ray Fosse to score at home plate … in an All-Star Game.
      • That itself is primarily due to a case of Common Knowledge, as many people think said collision was what basically ended Fosse's playing career. While it did indeed separate his shoulder, Fosse only missed a few weeks and was an All-Star again the next year.
  • Carl Mays won four World Series, notched over 200 wins in his career (including five twenty-win seasons), and is considered one of the better pitchers of the early 20th century. But he's remembered most for one pitch: a fatal beanball that felled Ray Chapman during a game in 1920. To this day, it's the only time an MLB player died due to injuries sustained while playing.
    • Jack Hamilton, who pitched throughout the 1960s, is similarly remembered for a beanball. He hit Tony Conigliaro on the cheekbone during a 1967 game which nearly killed him. Conigliaro made a miraculous return to the diamond, but he never was quite the same.
  • Sammy Sosa is the first MLB player to hit 65 home runs in a season and although he never held the single-season home run record at season's end, he is one of four people to eclipse Babe Ruth's record, one of three to eclipse Maris, and the only one to hit more than 60 homers in three different seasons. But those accomplishments are thrown out the window as Sosa will forever be known as "the guy who corked the bat." During an inter-league game against the (then) Tampa Bay Devil Rays on June 3, 2003, he was ejected after the umpires found out he had a corked bat. He was suspended eight games.
    • His steroids allegations (and his sudden inability to speak or understand English when he was asked about them) are right up there too, though. Which make his home run accolades meaningless since it surfaced in 2009 that he failed a drug test for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003.
    • He got back spasms... from sneezing. Consistently listed as one of the most embarrassing sports injuries of all time.
    • He changed his skin color, which gained him even more criticism.
  • Danny Heep, despite winning two World Series titles, is best remembered as Nolan Ryan's 4,000th strikeout victim.
    • Ryan's 5,000th victim, however, is very much an aversion of this trope—fellow Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson. Henderson himself doesn't mind this, saying "If you haven't been struck out by Nolan Ryan, you're nobody."
  • George Bell put up quite some numbers with his time with the Blue Jays, even getting on the team's Wall of Fame. However, he's best known for charging the mound after Red Sox relief pitcher Bruce Kison on June 23, 1985. After Kison threw a called strike, Bell charged the mound after him, attempting a karate kick and completely missed and Kison flattened him with a punch. Bell was suspended two games for the incident. He charged the mound again in 1993, also against the Red Sox, where he was flattened by Mo Vaughn.
  • Lou Whitaker is best known for forgetting to pack his uniform for an All-Star game. He had to buy one from the concession stand and draw on his uniform number.
  • Billy "Fuckface" Ripken's baseball career on the field would mostly be forgotten when juxtaposed next to the long, record-breaking, Hall of Fame career of his brother Cal. Off the field, he will mostly be remembered for an accident that happened while posing for his 1989 Fleer baseball card, in which, a certain obscene phrase was written on the end of his bat. Ripken admitted that it wasn't a prank but was in fact written on his batting practice bat to differentiate it from his game bat.
  • Minor League player John Odomnote  never lived down being traded to the Laredo Broncos for equipment — ten maple baseball bats, to be specific. See this article. It followed him around even after he quit baseball, as was constantly reminded of his indignity no matter how hard he tried to put it behind him. He would eventually die of a drug overdose brought on by the depression he was facing.
  • One day, Yankees first baseman Wally Pipp was sick and sat out a game. He was replaced by a guy named Lou Gehrig. Pipp may be the most famous example of The Pete Best in sports.
  • Carl Everett was a Major League outfielder who played for fourteen seasons for a number of teams in the 1990s and early 2000s. After he claimed dinosaurs weren't real (and then claimed fossils were manmade fakes), he gained the moniker "Jurassic Carl".note  This claim was so silly, most people don't realize he also doubted the moon landing.
  • Rick Bosetti had a so-so career as a centerfielder in the late 70s. After leaving the game, he had more success in local business and politics. However, when his name comes up, he's always the guy who relieved himself in the outfield during games and expressed his personal baseball goal as peeing in every Major League Baseball ballpark outfield.
  • Scott Cousins was a so-so outfielder, but the only thing he is known for is intentionally colliding and injuring San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey during a game on May 2011 between the Giants and Marlins (whom Cousins at the time played for). Posey missed the rest of the season with a knee injury, and this also caused MLB to create a new rule intended to limit home plate collisions called the "Posey rule". The rule prevented players from deviating from the baseline to initiate contact with the catcher and prevented catchers from blocking the plate unless they had the ball. While Cousins maintains that he didn't intentionally mean to injure Posey and Posey himself has forgiven him, many experts disagree and Cousins was subjected to death threats.
  • Perhaps the most spectacular inversion: Francisco Cabrera. Never played more than 70 games in a season for his career. In 1992, he had a total of 13 at-bats, regular and postseason combined. But he'll always be a hero in Atlanta for the penultimate of those ABs, as he delivered the game-winning hit in Game 7 of the NLCS that won the pennant for the Braves.
    • Improbable as it may seem, as of 2017 Cabrera remains the only player in MLB history to win a postseason series with a hit during an at-bat in which he would have represented the final out of the team that was trailing.
    • Like Cabrera, Dan Johnson has never been a great player. However, he hit two big home runs for the Tampa Bay Rays: one in 2008 and the other in 2011. Each helped lead the Rays to a playoff berth.
  • Benny Agbayani will forever be remembered for the incident where he gave a ball to a young fan, not realizing the ball was still in play, then rushing to get the ball back only to realize it was too late.
  • Another notable aversion is Curt Flood. With his Cardinals in a scoreless tie with the Tigers in Game 7 of the 1968 World Series, Flood misjudged an easy fly ball for what would have been the final out of the seventh inning, allowing the Tigers to put what would prove to be the game-winning runs on the board. However, Flood erased the memory of that error and cemented a far more respectable and meaningful legacy in baseball history by protesting the Cardinals' attempt to trade him the following year. Though the courts ruled against him, Flood's efforts challenged the legitimacy of MLB's reserve clause and ultimately led to free agency in the sport a few years later.
  • Floyd "Babe" Herman was basically the Clown Prince of baseball throughout his career, a Giftedly Bad player known for his particularly entertaining screwups. The biggest of all came in 1926 when he became the only player in the sport's history to triple into a double play, thanks to not paying attention to the runners ahead of him. Dazzy Vance had stopped on third base, but Herman running past first forced Chick Fewster to keep running from second, resulting in all three struggling to put a foot on third base until Herman and Fewster were both called out. And funnily enough, this play also won the game, as Hank DeBerry had easily scored from third base before any of the mess happened.
  • John McDonald had a long albeit unremarkable career, but the thing that he is most known for traded for himself. After the Blue Jays traded him to Detroit for a player to be named later, the Tigers decided that he would be that player.
    • Harry Chiti and Dickie Noles were also traded for themselves.
  • Glenn Burke was a journeyman Major Leaguer who today is remembered for two things: For being gay in an era where homosexuality could get you injured or killed (and the fact that no news service would dare report it, so it was an "open secret"; even nearly four decades later, few people knew about it and hailed basketball player Jason Collins (see below) as the first openly gay athlete in professional sports); and, along with Dusty Baker, inventing the high-five.
  • Kendrys Morales is best known for breaking his leg after hitting a walk-off grand slam. He missed nearly two seasons because of it.
  • Tommy John pitched in the majors for 27 years, winning 288 games and earning four All-Star nods. However, he's perhaps best known for the corrective pitching surgery that bears his name and for all intents and purposes extended his career following what by all rights should've been a career-ending injury.
  • Curt Schilling had plenty of great moments in MLB, like his championship with the Diamondbacks and the "bloody sock" game. His NLID moments happened during his post-baseball career, such as creating a video game company that crashed and burned so badly that the Securities and Exchange Commission got involved; and for his far right-wing politics, including making bigoted comments against Muslims and transgender people that got him fired from Fox Sports and ESPN, and possession of Nazi memorabilia. In spite of these, Curt has been getting more votes for Hall of Fame eligibility. He wound up withdrawing his name from his last year, claiming the opinions of the Baseball Writers' Association of America don't matter to him.
  • Nelson Cruz who now plays for the Minnesota Twins is one of the most feared power hitters in the majors. However, he is best remembered for misplaying a fly ball that should have clinched the World Series for the Texas Rangers in 2011. Instead, it fell in for a David Freese triple that scored two runs, allowing the Cardinals to tie the score in the bottom of the ninth. The Cards won that game in extras and would later go onto win the series the following night.
  • Now-retired Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz will rightly go down in history as one of the greatest clutch hitters of all time - you could even make the argument that without him, the Curse of the Bambino might still be going on today. Yet Sox detractors will always bring up the fact that Ortiz failed a PED test back in 2003. Never mind the fact that said PED was not an officially banned substance at the time (Major League Baseball did not have a cleanup program at that time), or that from 2004 until his retirement in 2016, Ortiz was subject to rigorous testing from MLB, and passed every single time.
    • It wasn't even a test for Performance Enhancing Drugs, but a test for what could be considered PEDs. It's why guys like Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi, who admitted their failures were due to steroids, were never suspended.
    • Detractors also like to bring up an incident where Ortiz smashed a dugout phone with his bat after a questionable strikeout. It didn't help that several of his teammates were standing right near him when he did this.
  • Tug McGrawnote  is best known for this answer when asked if he preferred natural or artificial grass to play on: "I don't know. I never smoked Astroturf!"
  • Pirates outfielder Gregory Polanco will probably always be remembered for tripping over his own two feet on a routine fly ball, which allowed a game-winning run to score.
  • John Kruk was a player for 10 seasons, playing for the Padres, Phillies, and White Sox, and had a decent career, making it to the All-Star game 3 times in the early 90's, and before moving on to the broadcast booth, working with ESPN another 16 years. Unfortunately, injuries and a fluxing weight problem kept him from truly reaching his potential, and people tend to boil down his playing days to 3 things:
    • His at-bat against Randy Johnson in the 1993 All-Star game. Johnson was a hard throwing fire-baller with control issues at this point in his career, and fired the first pitch over Kruk's head, scaring the dickens out of Kruk. A visibly nervous Kruk proceed to flail badly at the next two pitches (the last one being a good 18 inches off the plate) to strike out. After the game, Kruk said "When I first came to the plate, I didn't want to strike out. After that first pitch, I wanted to live, and I lived, so it was a good at-bat.
    • Getting hit in the testicles by Mitch Williams (another pitcher who threw hard and wild, and was Kruk's teammate) on a pickoff throw. This actually led to the discovery of a tumor in his scrotum, leading to the removal of one of his testicles.
    • After gaining so much weight, a woman criticized him, asking how a professional athlete could allow himself to get in that sort of shape. He responded "I ain't an athlete lady, I'm a baseball player."
  • Pitcher Rick Reuschel is best remembered for giving up back-to-back home runs to Wade Boggs and Bo Jackson to start the bottom of the first of the 1989 All-Star game.
  • Sam Horn is best known for that one game in 1991 where he scored a titanium sombrero (read: six strikeouts), after which the dubious achievement became better known as a horn, coined by his teammate Mike Flanagan, who went on to coin the term "horn of plenty" for the even rarer (read: non-existent) seven-strikeout score.
  • Steve Lyons was a colorful personality (nicknamed "Psycho") and still is an above-average color commentator. He'll forever be immortalized, however, as the guy who dropped trou on first base in front of millions of people. If not that, then for cheating in an in-game game of tic-tac-toe against Wally Joyner in 1989.
  • Kent Hrbek will always be vilified in Atlanta for the time he pulled Ron Gant off of first base in game 2 of the 1991 World Series, and getting the out call.
  • Wade Boggs was a 12-time All Star, amassed over 3,000 hits, and was a 5-time batting champion during his Hall of Fame career. Ask any casual fan about him and the first thing they'll mention is the man's ability to drink an obscene amount of beers on cross country flights from New York to Los Angeles.note  It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia did an entire episode based around it where the main characters try to accomplish the same feat and Boggs himself made a guest appearance in the episode.
    • Boggs also became well-known for injuring himself while trying to remove cowboy boots.
  • José Tabata will always be remembered (especially by Nationals fans) for sticking his elbow out in order to get hit by a pitch, spoiling Max Scherzer's perfect game with two outs and two strikes in the ninth.
  • South Korean pitcher Chan Ho Park was a solid pitcher for many baseball teams during his career. He was an All-Star in 2001, won a bronze medal for Team South Korea in the 2006 World Baseball Classic, and ended his career with the most career wins for an Asian pitcher, surpassing the legendary Hideo Nomo. However, he's most remembered for two incidents. The first was giving up two grand slams in the same inning to Fernando Tatís in 1999. The other was surrendering home runs 71 and 72 to Barry Bonds, helping him break the all-time single-season home run record on October 5, 2001. Many pitchers intentionally walked Bonds out of fear of falling victim to this very trope.
    • Mike Bacsik also shares some infamy by being the pitcher to give up home run number 756 to Barry Bonds, allowing him to break Hank Aaron's all-time record. Coincidentally, his father Mike Sr. avoided being subject to this trope by holding Aaron to a single and a flyout while Aaron was tied with Babe Ruth for the record.
  • Dale Mitchell was one of the Cleveland Indians' most powerful and most consistent hitters in the late 40s through the mid 50s and led the team to a World Series victory over the Braves in 1948. He finished his career with the Brooklyn Dodgers where his true legacy would be cemented. Pinch hitting in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series, Mitchell took a called strike three for the 27th out of Don Larsen's perfect game. For the rest of his life, Mitchell stuck to his belief that the pitch should have been called a ball.
  • Steve Trachsel was an above-average pitcher for the Cubs and Mets, but will be remembered for two things: Giving up Mark McGwire's record-breaking 62nd home run in 1998, and his extremely slow pace as a pitcher, which earned him the nickname "The Human Rain Delay" (which was also given to Mike Hargrove, but he got his for his routine as a batter rather than as a pitcher).
  • A positive version: It's likely no one would remember who Bucky "Fucking" Dent was, even though he won a World Series MVP, if not for the events that earned him his nickname. An MLB journeyman who only hit 40 home runs total in his 12 year career, one of them was a 3 run home run as a New York Yankee against the Boston Red Sox in the 1978 tie breaker game that decided which team went to the playoffs. The game was played in Fenway, and Dent's home run was over the "Green Monster," Fenway's tall, but extremely close to home plate left field wall. The home run was a high, rather short one that most likely would have been a routine fly out in any other MLB park, including Yankee Stadium. They were playing in Fenway because Boston "won" a coin toss. The Yankees won that game 5-4, which completed the Red Sox blowing what, at one point, was a 14 game lead over the Yankees to miss the playoffs, leading frustrated Red Sox fans to dub him Bucky "Fucking" Dent.
  • Milton Bradley was a talented but troubled player who let his anger issues ruin his career. He has a long list of incidents in his career which hit this territory, but most notable for him is the incident where he tore his ACL after getting ejected from a game because he fell down awkwardly while being restrained from confronting the umpire that threw him out.
  • Vince Coleman won Rookie of the Year honors in 1985 but is more remembered for missing that year's World Series in a bizarre fashion. Before Game 4 of the NLCS against the Dodgers, he was stretching too close to Busch Stadium's automatic tarp machine and got rolled inside. He also hit Dwight Gooden with a golf club in the Mets' clubhouse.
  • Lenny Randle was a solid-to-average infielder best known for the game in 1981 where he got down on hands and knees and blew a blooper across the line into foul territory to try and rob Royals outfielder Amos Otis of a hit. The rule against doing what he did now bears his name.
    • Before that, he was known for beating up his manager. During spring training in 1977, Randle (then with the Texas Rangers) attacked manager Frank Lucchesi after being removed from the starting lineup. This resulted in Randle being traded to the New York Mets. (Oddly, Lucchesi would be fired as Rangers manager mid-way through that season, while Randle enjoyed a career year for the Mets.)
  • Brant Brown was an up and coming player for the Chicago Cubs when the club was in a three-team race for the then-one Wild Card berth in 1998. In a game against the lowly Milwaukee Brewers, the Cubs built on a 7-0 lead which whittled down to 7-5 in the bottom of the ninth. With two out and the bases loaded, Milwaukee's Geoff Jenkins hit a routine flyball which Brown dropped and allowed to roll past him. The winning runs scored, which almost jeopardized Chicago's postseason chances. They finished in a tie with the San Francisco Giants and won the tiebreaker. After one plate appearance in the playoffs, Brown was traded in the off-season and last played in the majors in 2000.
    • Brown's error also cemented a reaction from Cubs' broadcaster Ron Santo who let out two Big Nos upon seeing it happen.
  • Delmon Young was a power hitter of note, especially during his years as a Tiger and an Oriole. When his name comes up, it's usually for either throwing his bat at an umpire when he was in the minors or one of two separate incidents involving ethnic slurs.
  • Elvis Andrus was an All Star shortstop for the Rangers, but he is mostly remembered for 7th inning of Game 5 of 2015 ALDS, where he commited 3 straight fielding errors, helping Blue Jays stage a comeback that was later capped off by Jose Bautista's 3-run homer.
  • Carlos Beltran, no matter how clutch he was for the Mets, has been remembered by fans for taking a called strike three with the bases loaded to end the 2006 NLCS. When he was announced as the Mets' manager for the 2020 season, sports news sites wasted no time digging up the clip.
    • Beltran never got to manage a game. He retired after winning a World Series with the Astros who were later implicated in a sign-stealing scandal. Days after penalties against the Astros were announced in mid-January, Beltran (who was not punished) mutually parted ways with the Mets.
  • Wally Backman is best known for a viral tirade that took place while managing the independent South Georgia Peanuts. After one of his players was ejected for arguing balls and strikes, Backman verbally abused the umpiring crew and threw equipment onto the field.
    • Prior to this, he was known for being fired after four days as manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The club admitted that they didn't do a background check, failing to discover Backman's criminal record which included drunk driving and assaulting his wife.
  • In addition to being one of the players involved in the Astros' sign-stealing scandal, Yuli Gurriel is also infamous for making a racially insensitive gesture in Game 3 of the 2017 World Series. After hitting a home run, cameras caught Gurriel pulling back his eyelids towards Dodgers' pitcher Yu Darvish who is Japanese.
  • Vic Wertz had a career that spanned seventeen seasons, earning four All-Star nods and leading the American League in home runs for one year. When his name comes up, it's for hitting the long drive in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series which Willie Mays caught in a spectacular fashion. Wertz himself didn't mind it, saying that it felt good to be linked to Mays for that play.
  • Game 2 of the 1966 World Series between the Dodgers and the Orioles was tied heading into the top of the fifth and Sandy Koufax was on the mound. After a single, Paul Blair hit a fly ball to center fielder Willie Davis, who proceeded to lose the ball in the blinding sun, which put runners on first and second. The next batter also hit a fly ball to center. Davis dropped the ball, which ended up scoring the first runner. Blair decided to round to third. Davis saw this and tried to make a throw that wasn't even close to the third baseman, scoring Blair. The Orioles ended up winning the game, and two games later, the Series, in a four game sweep.
  • Bob Tillman had a decent career with the Red Sox, Yankees and Braves, but perhaps what he's best known for is a May 1967 game against the Tigers at Fenway. The Tigers had scored four runs against the Red Sox starter, Bucky Brandon, so he was replaced by John Wyatt. After the first out, Wyatt walked Al Kaline, who then tried to steal second. Tillman, the catcher, tried to throw to second, but instead hit Wyatt in the head. Kaline not only reached second, but made his way to third off this.
  • Babe Ruth, of all people, makes his way onto this list. During the seventh game of the 1926 World Series, pitting the New York Yankees and the St. Louis Cardinals (their first World Series) against each other, had the Cardinals in a three run fourth inning and a one run lead in the ninth. Pete Alexander retired the first two batters, making the Cards one out away from their first world championship. After that, Alexander walked The Babe. Now there was a runner on first with two away. Bob Meusel was next for the Yankees, representing the winning run. Babe decided to try and steal second, resulting in the catcher throwing him out, clinching the Series for the Cardinals. It's still the only World Series to end on a caught stealing.
  • The 1984 NLCS had the Chicago Cubs, their first postseason series since 1945, and the San Diego Padres, who hadn't had a postseason series ever before. The series was tied 2-2, and the winner of Game 5 would move on the the World Series. The Cubs had a 3-0 lead in the game. The Padres cut that lead to one. In the seventh, Carmelo Martinez walked and was sacrificed to second. Tim Flannery hit a ground ball to first. Leon Durham just let the ball go between his legs, tying the game at 3-3. The Cubs allowed the Padres to extend their lead to 6-3, ultimately losing the game and the chance to go to the World Series.
  • Brett Gardner led the Yankees to their first World Series in nine years in his sophomore year. Outside of New York, he became infamous for using his bat to hit his team's dugout ceiling after striking out in a 2019 game. It didn't take long for fans of opposing teams and even some umpires to make fun of him for doing that.
  • Jason Grimsley and Albert Belle each share one for trying to steal a corked bat. Albert Belle sent Jason Grimsley around the stadium to steal the bat and replace it with another bat, after it was confiscated by the umpires. Needless to say, they got caught by the damage that was done to the ceiling and the room the bat was stored in, and the fact the bat they used was Paul Sorento's bat, a teammate of theirs.
  • Billy Hatcher hit a game-tying 14th inning home run in Game 6 of 1986 NLCS which almost forced a Game 7 for the Astros. Less than a year later, he became better known for getting caught with a corked bat and suspended ten games. He claimed he borrowed the bat from a teammate and maintains his innocence.
  • Precisely nothing is known about the Buffalo Bisons player named Lewis except he was perhaps the worst pitcher in the history of professional baseball, scoring an ERA of 60.00 in his sole appearance for the team. Even his first name has been lost to posterity.

  • Grady Little. There probably isn't a Red Sox fan in the world who can hear Little's name without reflexively shouting "TAKE OUT PEDRO!" The Red Sox whom Little managed in 2003 were five outs away from reaching the World Series when Little chose to leave tiring starter Pedro Martínez in the game rather than summon a fresh pitcher from the bullpen. The Yankees tied the game and went on to win on an 11th inning home run from the unlikely Aaron Boone, knocking the Red Sox out of the playoffs. Little was fired after the season, possibly the only time that a Major League manager was ever fired for a single in-game decision.
  • Willie Randolph among Met fans is forever remembered by deciding to keep Aaron Heilman on the mound in Game 7 the 2006 NLCS rather than go get his closer, Billy Wagner.
  • For about a year, it was certain that Royals third base coach Mike Jirschele would been remembered mostly for preventing the tying run from scoring in the seventh game of the 2014 World Series. Case in point, in the bottom of the ninth-inning with two outs, and Kansas City trailing the San Francisco Giants 3-2, Royals outfielder Alex Gordon hit a single that was misplayed by Giants outfielder Gregor Blanco, and made it to third before Jirschele halted him there. The next batter, catcher Salvador Pérez promptly fouled out to third baseman Pablo Sandoval, to end the series. For nearly a year, Jirschele received criticism from Royals fans for not sending Gordon home, though some have debated as to whether or not Gordon would have made it safely.
    • However, Jirschele got redemption in 2015. During the eighth inning of the sixth game of the American League Championship Series against the Toronto Blue Jays, outfielder Lorenzo Cain advanced on a base hit from infielder Eric Hosmer. Blue Jays outfielder José Bautista fielded the ball just as Cain was rounding second, and when Jirschele saw Bautista throw the ball, he quickly began waving Cain home, which gave Kansas City a 4-3 lead, which proved to be the winning run, as the Royals held on to win the game, and the pennant. The Royals then went on to defeat the New York Mets in five games to win the World Series.
  • Lou Piniella is one of the smartest, most successful managers that Major League Baseball has seen in many years. Though he's a very personable guy off the field, his on-field temper tantrums and heated arguments with umpires — in particular, an incident in which he uprooted a base and threw it across the field — are what the general public knows him for.
  • Lloyd McClendon, another manager who is known for challenging umpires, will probably be remembered as the guy who literally stole first base. In 2001, while manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, he was ejected for arguing a call during a game against the Brewers when catcher Jason Kendall was called out when it looked like he was safe. After being ejected, McClendon removed first base and took it off the field, and then threw it into the dugout.
    • He had another moment in 2015, by which time he managed the Seattle Mariners. During a game against the Yankees, he was ejected after arguing a few questionable check-swing calls by Brett Gardner and Alex Rodriguez. After initially arguing with the home plate umpire, McClendon threw his hat down and argued with the first base umpire, before kicking his hat around the diamond to argue with the entire umpiring crew.
  • Yet another manager known for arguing with umpires is Bobby Cox, so much so that he holds the record for most career ejections.
  • Lee Elia was a player and manager of little note (only four years of playing time in the majors, four seasons as manager of the Cubs and Phillies, only one winning season). But people who couldn't pick Elia out of a lineup know about his legendary Cluster F-Bomb-laden rant from 1983 blasting Wrigley Field's "Bleacher Bums" for booing and heckling the home team. Wikipedia has the full uncensored transcript. You can hear it for yourself (also uncensored) here.
  • Dusty Baker had a semi-successful career as a player, but he is best known for ruining promising young pitchers Mark Prior and Kerry Wood (who was forced to become a reliever) by letting them pitch too much as manager of the Cubs.
    • Although this might be a case of Mis-blamed, as Wood had already spent a year on the DL before Baker had arrived, and some speculate that both had already had so much wear and tear that Baker's influence was minor at best.
    • He's also responsible for the rule that MLB batboys have to be at least 14 years old, after his then-3½-year-old son Darren was nearly trampled while running on the field during play in Game 5 of the 2002 World Series, in which his father was managing the San Francisco Giants. J.T. Snow, who was running the bases while scoring on a Kenny Lofton triple for the Giants, is mainly remembered for grabbing the younger Baker by the jacket as he crossed home plate.
    • On a lighter note, he's also remembered for inventing the high five, after smacking the outstretched hand of teammate Glenn Burke in 1977.
  • Dave Roberts should be remembered for having a key part in Boston's Miracle Rally in the 2004 ALCS. Instead, he's received a huge amount of criticism as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers for repeated pitching snafus.
    • First, on April 8, 2016, he chose to remove starter Ross Stripling from a potential no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants. Stripling was making his Major League debut, had thrown over 100 pitches after 7 and 1/3 innings, and had just walked a batter. His replacement coughed up a two-run homer, and the Dodgers would eventually lose the game by a walk-off in the tenth.
    • Roberts also took heat on September 10, 2016, when he chose to remove starting pitcher Rich Hill from a perfect game. At the time of the decision, Hill had pitched seven perfect innings against the Miami Marlins, while tossing 89 pitches. The perfect game was broken up in the eighth inning when relief pitcher Joe Blanton gave up a base hit to Jeff Francoeur. Roberts stated afterwards that his decision was out of concern for a potential blister problem that Hill was having.
    • Roberts was chastised yet again for removing Rich Hill from Game 4 of the 2018 World Series. Hill had cruised through 6 1/3 innings, and it looked like the Dodgers would come out evening the series at two games apiece. Roberts blew every subsequent pitching matchup with the bullpen turning a 4-0 lead into a 9-6 loss. The Dodgers lost the series at home the next day.
      • Given that its been revealed that the Dodgers were cheated twice in the World Series, both for the Astros and the Red Sox because of Alex Cora's signal stealing system he created, Roberts might be Vindicated by History.
    • Roberts's decision to leave in Clayton Kershaw, not known for being clutch in the postseason, in Game 5 of the 2019 NLDS. After Kershaw got out of trouble in the seventh, he gave up home runs to the first two batters of the eighth, allowing the Nationals to tie the score. The Dodgers eventually got eliminated on a Howie Kendrick grand slam in extras. To rub salt in the wound, the Nationals would go onto win their first World Series in franchise history. Roberts was immediately compared to Grady Little by the press for this decision.
  • Billy Martin was best known for his public feuds with the players on the teams he managed along with his tirades with the umpires on the field, kicking dust on them whenever he got upset. He also had an infamous love/hate relationship with George Steinbrenner which explains his several short stints with the Yankees (including one where he was fired mid-season in 1978 while the Yankees were chasing the Red Sox for the American League East). Martin is also highly remembered for pulling superstar Reggie Jackson from a game and the two nearly exchanged blows in the visiting dugout of Fenway Park, much to the delight of Red Sox fans.
  • Bobby Valentine managed the Mets around the turn of the millennium, taking them to the World Series in 2000. He's best remembered for sneaking back into a game, wearing a ridiculous fake moustache, after being ejected.
  • Alan Trammell is about as known for being part of one of the best double-play combinations in baseball as he is for managing the 2003 Detroit Tigers, the worst Major League team of the 21st century. However, it now looks like he'll be remembered more as a player, now that he got into the Hall of Fame in 2018.
  • Matt Williams, former Nationals manager, will always be questioned for pulling pitcher Jordan Zimmerman out of game 2 against the San Francisco Giants in the NLDS in 2014. Zimmerman was only one out away from a shut-out victory but gave up a walk in the bottom of the 9th. Williams replaced him with closer Drew Storen who gave up the tying run to Giants hitter Pablo Sandoval. The Nationals lost the game in 18 innings on a home run by the Giants' Brandon Belt and eventually the series. If that wasn't bad enough, Williams was also ejected from that game when one of his players, Asdrubal Cabrera, got thrown out for slamming his bat after a called third strike.
  • Alex Cora was a celebrated member of the MLB for helping the Astros win the World Series in 2017 as a bench coach. And as Manager, he led the Boston Red Sox to a World Series win in 2018. However, he will now be remembered for being the mastermind whom created a signal stealing system using the current technology in baseball to give his batters a heads up on which pitch was coming before it was thrown, a cheating system he used on both teams, tainting both World Series wins. It doesn't help that many people feel his punishment for his actions wasn't very effective, as his one season suspension and firing by the Red Sox ultimately amounted to just sitting out the COVID-19 shortened 2020 season (which many non-suspended players and coaches voluntarily elected to skip due to health concerns) before returning as the Red Sox manager in 2021 as though nothing happened.

  • On April 6, 1987, Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Al Campanis went on Nightline and aired his views that blacks "may not have some of the necessities to be, let's say, a field manager, or perhaps a general manager." He tried to explain afterwards that he meant that what blacks lacked was experience, not intelligence. But he had long been forced out of his job by then.
  • Few sports executives have been hated for as long, and by as many people, as Walter O'Malley, who moved baseball's Brooklyn Dodgers to Los Angeles in 1958. New York Post writers Pete Hamill and Jack Newfield, both native Brooklynites, once proposed collaborating on an essay devoted to "the ten worst human beings who ever lived", and began the project by each jotting down ten names on a bar napkin and comparing the lists. Both men had the same three names atop their lists, and in the same order: 1. Adolf Hitler, 2. Josef Stalin, and 3. Walter O'Malley.
    • O'Malley was also disliked in Los Angeles thanks to the controversial eviction of Chavez Ravine residents to build Dodger Stadium. The largely Hispanic neighborhood was chosen as the site, and despite several attempts to block it moved forward. The Mexican-American community largely ignored the Dodgers for decades as a result until the arrival of Fernando Valenzuela. Small wonder, then, that he ended up becoming the punchline of a joke popular on both coasts and both sides of the Rio Bravo where, if he was in the same room as Hitler and Stalin and you had a gun with only two bullets in it, the best course of action would be to "shoot O'Malley twice".
  • Billy Beane should be remembered for his ability to scout out players based on potential performance, therefore coining the term "Moneyball". He's more well-known, especially among Athletics fans, for his blunder of a trade at the 2014 deadline. Beane shipped star outfielder Yoenis Céspedes to the Red Sox with Oakland at a comfortable first place lead in their division. The A's floundered without Céspedes, qualifying as a wild card team by the skin of their teeth, and losing the win-or-go-home Wild Card game against the Royals. Beane lost his job as general manager after that season, effectively being kicked upstairs into a nominally higher position that ended his day-to-day control over playing personnel.
  • Marge Schott became the second woman in MLB history to own a team outright. She's more well-known for her outspoken racism, homophobia and antisemitism. Her quotes praising Adolf Hitler got her banned from baseball for two years, and the incident later forced her to sell the team a year after her return. She also infamously complained about the 1996 Opening Day game being postponed due to umpire John McSherry's fatal heart attack in the first inning.

  • Cardinals fans will forever remember Don Denkinger, who worked in the majors for three decades, for calling Jorge Orta safe at first in Game 6 of the 1985 World Series. Closing pitcher Todd Worrell beat Orta to the bag by a step and a half (with some question as to whether Orta touched the bag itself as he stepped on Worrell's foot), and soon after, the Cardinals imploded and lost 2–1. Denkinger further cemented his infamy among St. Louisans by ejecting manager Whitey Herzog and pitcher Joaquín Andújar from Game 7 for arguing balls and strikes with the team still giving him hell about the call.
  • Rich Garcia, another veteran umpire, is best known for blowing a call in Game 1 of the 1996 ALCS: After Derek Jeter hit a catchable fly ball to right and eleven-year-old Yankees fan Jeffrey Maier reached out from the stands and grabbed it before the Orioles' Tony Tarasco could field it, Garcia ruled it a home run instead of the expected fan interference call.
    • Garcia made another controversial call favoring the Yankees during Game 1 of the 1998 World Series which drew the ire of Padres fans. With the bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh and the score tied with two out, Tino Martinez took a borderline 2-2 pitch called a ball by Garcia. Martinez smacked the next pitch over the fence for a grand slam.
  • Tim Tschida is best known by Red Sox fans for blowing a call in the 1999 ALCS. In the eighth inning of the fourth game of the 1999 ALCS, Yankees infielder Chuck Knoblauch fielded a ball and attempted to tag Jose Offerman. Tschida called Offerman out despite that Knoblauch completely missed the tag. This, along with the Yankees scoring 6 runs in the top of the ninth, and Red Sox manager Jimy Williams being ejected, sent Fenway Park into an uproar, with fans throwing trash onto the field. Tschida's call is now known as "The Phantom Tag".
  • Tim Welke will always be known for a play where he called a runner out at first base, despite the first baseman being more than two feet away from the bag, not even coming close to touching it. The call is frequently listed as one of the worst ever, even though it had no serious implications, just because of how patently obvious of a botch it was.
  • Jim Joyce will probably be forever remembered as the umpire who cost Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga the final out of a perfect game in 2010 … although most people have at least forgiven him, including (in a true Heartwarming Moment) Galarraga himself, due to Joyce openly admitting the mistake and him being frequently voted the majors' best umpire by the players. Fan ire has since been directed at the MLB office for refusing to retroactively credit Galarraga with the perfect game.note 
    • Similarly, Bruce Froemming worked 37 years of games in the majors but is also best remembered for taking a perfect game away from a pitcher on the final out. In this case, it was the final strike as Milt Pappas of the Chicago Cubs had a 2-2 count on the 27th batter. Froemming called his next two pitches balls, both of which were borderline. Pappas eventually finished with a no-hitter but unlike the example above, he never forgave Froemming. Pappas went as far as arguing with him about it on a radio show some 30 years later.
    • Mike Muchlinski is also remembered for costing Max Scherzer a perfect game on the 27th batter (see above). Had Muchlinski ruled that José Tabata made no attempt to get out of the way of Scherzer's two-strike pitch, the at-bat would have continued with a 3-2 count.
    • Averted by Babe Pinelli, who was behind the plate for Yankees pitcher Don Larsen's perfecto in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series. With Dodgers pinch-hitter Dale Mitchell representing the 27th and final out of the game, Larsen worked him to a 1-2 count, then threw one that Pinelli called a strike to end the game. Mitchell, who rarely struck out, always maintained afterward that the pitch was well outside the strike zone and that he'd checked his swing. And Dodgers center fielder Duke Snider later claimed that Pinelli (who retired from umpiring following that series) told him he'd always wanted to end his career umpiring a no-hitter in a Fall Classic. But, for the most part, fans and historians have chosen to celebrate Larsen's accomplishment rather than dwell on the possibly-questionable call that aided it.
  • Art Passarella blew a call in the 1952 World Series, calling a runner out when he was safe. He might have gotten away with it as instant replay technology didn't exist back then, but unfortunately for him a newspaper photographer happened to take a picture right at the moment it happened, showing the runner's foot on the bag and the ball a foot away from the baseman's glove. He was fired over it, despite this clearly being an extremely close play that anyone might have trouble with.
  • Pirates fans best know Jerry Meals for missing a call in the bottom of the 19th inning during a game against the Atlanta Braves in 2011. During the play in question, with the score tied 3-3, Pirates catcher Michael McKenry caught a throw from pitcher Daniel McCutchen, and tagged Braves infielder Julio Lugo who was at least three feet from the plate. But Meals called Lugo safe, and the Braves won the game. Meals received criticism from Pittsburgh fans for his call, and the Pirates issued a public complaint. Some time afterwards, both MLB, and Meals himself acknowledged that he missed the call. This didn't help the Pirates who coming into the game were tied for first in the National League Central (with the Milwaukee Brewers) and only won 19 out their remaining 62 games. It's likely one of the few times an entire season was decided by a blown call.
    • Prior to that, Meals became infamous in Tampa Bay when he blew a checked swing call in Game 2 of the 2010 ALDS. Instead of a strikeout, Michael Young of the Rangers hit a three-run homer on the next pitch.
    • Then there was the game where Meals overturned a run who scored on a sacrifice fly. Not only did the replay show the runner had his foot on the bag when the ball was caught, Meals wasn't even watching third base at the time.
  • Bob Davidson is best known for his overzealous calling of balks which has earned him the nickname Balkin' Bob Davidson. Blue Jays fans remember him best for blowing a call that negated what would have been the second triple play in World Series history.
  • Eric Gregg would take to his grave the strike zone that was wider than his very ample waistline in Game 5 of the 1997 NLCS, where the Florida Marlins got the benefit of several called strikes that were clear balls (the last pitch of the game would have hit Fred McGriff if he was batting right-handed) while the Atlanta Braves were given a much more normal strike zone.
  • Similar to the aforementioned Eric Gregg, Sam Holbrook also holds a bad view in the mind of many Braves fans. During the bottom of the eighth inning of the 2012 National League Wild Card game against The St. Louis Cardinals, and with Atlanta trailing 6-3, Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons hit a fly ball in between Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday and infielder Pete Kozma. Holbrook called Simmons out just before the ball fell, citing the "infield fly rule". Had this rule not been called, the Braves would have had the bases loaded with one out. The game was delayed for nearly 20 minutes as fans threw debris onto the field, and the Braves played the remainder of the game under protest (which they eventually lost with the protest denied).
    • Holbrook made another controversial call during Game 6 of the 2019 World Series, one that had been plagued with questionable ball/strike calls during the previous contest. Holbrook ruled Trea Turner out on runner's lane interference, turning a second and third no out scenario into a runner at first with one out. The umpiring crew did not overturn the call so the Nationals played the game under protest, which they eventually won. In the ensuing argument, Holbrook ejected manager Dave Martinez, a first in the World Series since 1996.
  • Ángel Hernández, one of the least popular umpires among players and fans, made a name for himself for his lawsuit against Major League Baseball. He filed it to protest racial discrimination of umpires, but it became increasingly apparent that he was getting sick of MLB denying him World Series assignments. It's worth mentioning that MLB gave him the All-Star game days after filing the suit. A judge tossed his suit just before the 2021 season began.
    • Prior to that, Hernández did not overturn this obviously wrong non-home run call resulting in boos from the opposing team's fans. He would later claim that the angle they gave him in the booth didn't give his crew enough evidence to change the call. The damage had been done as it gave fans the impression that Hernández hates instant replay and that he doesn't like to be proven wrong the first time. This was later backed up when four of his calls were overturned by replay in Game 3 of the 2018 ALDS between the Yankees and the Red Sox.
    • Hernández also ordered guest singer Steve McMichael to be escorted out of Wrigley Field when he joked about a blown call he made over the PA system. Hernández's own accounts are sketchy, with one claiming he had crew chief Randy Marsh do it and another saying Marsh did it on his own.
  • The now-retired John Hirschbeck is best known for being a hothead on the field, often cursing out players and managers and baiting them into ejections and suspensions. In one such case, he drew the ire of Blue Jays fans when he bullied Troy Tulowitzki into an ejection... in a playoff game. In the aforementioned spitting incident, Roberto Alomar alleged that Hirschbeck called him a racial slur (the video of the incident has Hirschbeck mouthing "faggot" at him). Hirschbeck was just as confrontational off the field, making verbal threats against then-labor lawyer Rob Manfred in 2003 that got him a ten-game suspension.
  • John McSherry is probably known not for his career, but for how it tragically ended: Suffering a fatal heart attack while serving as home plate umpire on Opening Day in Cincinnati in 1996. It was made all the worse when infamously insensitive Reds owner Marge Schott publicly complained the game was postponed as a result.
  • Speaking of tragedy, Ron Luciano was a colorful AL ump in the 1970s who went on to an unsuccessful career as a TV commentator, and a more successful one as an author of humorous baseball-themed books. But if he's remembered now, it's mostly for committing suicide in his garage via carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Toby Basner ejected Josh Donaldson in the first inning of a game for a comment he thought was directed at him. While this isn't unheard of, it's what his wife Rachel did that fits this category. When she found out, she congratulated her husband by posting this on her Facebook. Reaction on social media, from Blue Jays fans in particular, was instant and fierce. Rachel had to delete her account later that day.
  • Larry Barnett declined to call interference on the Reds' Ed Armbrister during Game 3 of the 1975 World Series, for which he drew criticism (and even some death threats) from Red Sox fans after the Reds went on to win the game and ultimately the series.
  • Mike Winters is the umpire best known for the Milton Bradley incident (see above). According to Bradley, Winters taunted him with profanity and set him off by calling him "a piece of shit". Winters was suspended for the remainder of the season.
  • Dave Pallone was forced to resign as an NL ump after a 1988 incident in which Reds manager Pete Rose shoved him during an argument over a call, then claimed afterward that Pallone had poked him in the face. Once the fans realized that Pallone had ejected Rose, they littered the field with debris, and this forced the league to remove Pallone for his own safety. While the altercation with Rose was given as the official reason for Pallone's ouster, a New York Post article later that year revealed that Pallone was a closeted gay man who had been (falsely) accused of being involved in a sex ring with teenage boys.
  • Atlanta Braves fans will remember Drew Coble for a controversial call that he made at first base in Game 2 of the 1991 World Series against the Minnesota Twins. In the top of the third inning, with Lonnie Smith running from first with two outs, Gant drove a single into left field. Gant rounded first, and Twins pitcher Kevin Tapani picked up the ball and threw it to first baseman Kent Hrbek. Gant went back into the bag standing up but in an attempt to tag him, Hrbek lifted him off the bag and Gant was called out by Coble.
  • Angels fans have reviled Doug Eddings for a no-call that favored the White Sox in Game 2 of the 2005 ALCS. Eddings ruled that catcher Josh Paul did not catch a third stike pitch by Kelvim Escobar that would have forced extras. Instead, A. J. Pierzynski reached first and his pinch runner later scored on a game-winning base hit by Joe Crede. The White Sox turned the series around, winning the next three games at Angel Stadium, and also the World Series.
  • Tampa Bay Rays fans best remember Marty Foster for making a blatant bad strike call during a 2013 game vs the Texas Rangers. Ben Zobrist had three balls and two strikes, Joe Nathan on the ropes, with a chance for a comeback due to Texas leading 5-4, the pitch Nathan threw was clearly a ball and Zobrist assumed it would be called as such. Unfortunately, the only man whose opinion mattered, Marty Foster called it a strike three despite the fact Zobrist didn't swing at it, and the ball was nowhere near the strike zone. Zobrist immediately protested in horror, and Joe Madden, the Rays manger came charging out of the dugout to protest the call. Pretty much everyone realized the error, as even Nathan mouthed "Wow" to the catcher over the blown call. Foster apologized and admitted he got it wrong, but the Rays fans were still livid over the clear error.
  • Rob Drake may gladly take an on-field incident such as putting on an act after tossing Yadier Molina or being the only umpire to eject someone from a perfect game (Joe Maddon). Instead, he's remembered for an October 2019 tweet where he expressed pro-gun views and threatened "cival war" should Donald Trump face an impeachment inquiry. He deleted the tweet and his Twitter account hours after it went viral, but it was already too late. MLB announced an investigation, but Drake was never punished.
  • In Game 2 of the 2009 ALDS, Phil Cuzzi called a fair ball foul, taking away a double from Joe Mauer. Mauer singled in that at bat and likely would have scored on a base hit by either Jason Kubel or Michael Cuddyer. Instead, they loaded the bases without scoring, and Mark Teixeira homered to win the game for the Yankees who swept the Twins a game later.
  • Greg Gibson will be solely remembered for being part of a video that was used to close out every video on the MLB Youtube channel for several years, with him being made into a meme as a result.

  • Buck Martinez, a former catcher for the Royals, Brewers, and Blue Jays, joined Rogers Sportsnet, the Blue Jays' Canadian network, in 2010. However, he's messed up with his calls, including calling people the wrong names and messing up facts that there's a whole website dedicated to his mistakes. The blog closed in 2014, though you can still see it here.
  • NBC announcer Curt Gowdy eviscerated umpire Larry Barnett for his controversial non-interference call in Game 3 of the 1975 World Series. After this led to Barnett getting death threats from enraged Red Sox fans, Gowdy was let go from calling baseball games on that network.
  • Cincinnati Reds announcer Thom Brennaman, son of legendary Reds announcer Marty Brennaman, resigned from the Reds (and was let go of his duties announcing football for FOX) in 2020 after referring to a city as "one of the [gay slur] capitals of the world" without realizing his mic was still on. Then a few innings later he issued an apology, which he paused in the middle of to call a Reds home run.

  • The 2003 NLCS also had a moment invoking this on a single fan. No matter what he does in the rest of his life, good or bad, the name "Steve Bartman" will forever be associated with one foul ball. To explain: the 2003 NLCS was between the Chicago Cubs and the Florida Marlins. In Game 6, the Cubs led the series 3–2 and were up 3–0 in the top of the eighth and had already put one Marlin out that inning. Marlins second baseman Luis Castillo, up with a runner on second, hit a foul ball, which went towards the stands; Cubs outfielder Moisés Alou tried to catch it. If Alou had caught the ball, Castillo would have been out, and the Cubs would have been four more outs away from winning their first National League pennant since 1945. But of course, that's not what happened. Instead, a (lifelong Cubs) fan named Steve Bartman, one of several trying to catch Castillo's ball, reached out of the stands (although there is some argument about this), failed to get the ball, and deflected the ball away from Alou's glove. Thus Castillo was not out, the Cubs ended up giving up eight runs in the eighth inning, and eventually lost the game 8-3. Needless to say, Bartman needed to be escorted from the stadium under heavy guard, and has never been back to Wrigley Field since that night.
    • Postscript: After the Cubs finally won the World Series in 2016, the team gave Bartman his own customized World Series ring.
  • The Giants-Dodgers rivalry is regarded as one of the most historic rivalries in baseball. However, one of the darkest moments that fans of both teams will agree on is when Giants fan Bryan Stow was brutally beaten up by two Dodger fans on Opening Day 2011 in Los Angeles. Although Stow survived the attack, he had received a fractured skull and permanent brain damage. The two attackers, Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood, were arrested and sentenced. While some eyewitnesses claim Stow was yelling taunts at the Dodgers and their fans, it does not justify such a brutal attack. This incident painted mostly Dodger fans in negative light as ruthless thugs and while making several Giants fans feel unsafe at Dodger Stadium.
  • Astroturf, hailed at the time of its debut at the Astrodome in Houston as a major innovation in stadium equipment, will instead live on in infamy for two things: being co-opted as a term for a specific form of sockpuppetry and doing lasting damage to the careers of such notable players as Andre Dawson (who still made it to the Hall of Fame) and Ken Griffey Jr. (who might have put the career home run record out of Barry Bonds' reach if his legs hadn't given out due to the beating he'd taken in Seattlenote ).
  • Since 2014, Major League Baseball allows managers to challenge calls which umpires can review with instant replay. In addition to the jokes about close plays being decided by a coin flip or a die roll, fans also accuse the Yankees and the Mets of being "favored" teams since the plays are reviewed in New York.
  • The Baseball Writers' Association of America will probably not live down a couple of things:
    • For the entirety of their voting, not a single player has ever been a unanimous inductee into the Baseball Hall of Fame until Mariano Rivera in 2019. (The closest before that was Ken Griffey Jr., with 437 out of 440 votes in 2016.)
    • When Derek Jeter was elected into the Hall of Fame in 2020, one lone vote prevented him from being a unanimous inductee. As such, the sports world was more abuzz about the voting process than Jeter getting in.
    • Banning Dan Le Batard from ever voting for the Hall of Fame again after he admitted to crowdsourcing his 2014 Hall of Fame ballot with This despite several BBWAA members admitting to using arbitrary and outside methods for choosing the players on their ballots (with at least one flipping a coin on some marginal players), and one writer who was set to become the BBWAA Vice President was revealed to have a "Hall of Fame selection party" at a local bar at least once.
  • Major League Baseball as a whole has been tarnished by three separate players' strikes.
    • The 1972 season started late because of one. An unplayed game affected who went to the American League Championship Series that year. The Detroit Tigers played, and won, one more game than the Boston Red Sox, allowing them to finish the season half a game ahead in the AL East standings.
    • The second in 1981 forced the season to be divided in half with each division winner playing each other in Division Series to begin the playoffs.
    • The 1994 strike was the most severe because it ended the season in August and cancelled the World Series that year. It's cited as the main reason the Montreal Expos, the best team in baseball that year, moved to Washington DC to become the Nationals ten years later, and though they finally got their championship 25 years after they were supposed to, the damage had been done.
  • MLB may not live down its repeated failed attempts to improve the pace of play in The New '10s. The added regulations have had the opposite effect, mainly due to increased control umpires have on games by enforcing those rules. It says a lot when a mound visit would have taken less time than arguments, and more egregiously ejections, about said mount visit.
  • Commissioner Rob Manfred will never live down how he handled giving out the punishments for the Houston Astros and their sign-stealing scandal (see above): The Astros were fined $5 million, manager A.J. Hinch, general manager Jeff Luhnow, and Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora (the Astros bench coach at the time) were both suspended for a year (both have since been fired by the Astros) and losses of first and second round draft picks in 2020 and 2021. The punishments didn't sit well with fans and players of the other 29 teamsnote , who felt that the Astros should've had their 2017 World Series title vacated, Hinch and Luhnow given longer suspensions if not a lifetime ban, and the players from the 2017 team getting suspended/banned from baseball. Even more so when he announced that opposing teams and their players will be penalized for retaliating against those who cheated. And at one point, during a press conference where he defended his punishments for the Astros, he referred to the World Series trophy—which is also known as the Commissioner's trophy—as "a piece of metal." The scandal also costed Cora and Carlos Beltran, who was catching for Houston at the time, their managerial jobs with Red Sox and Mets respectively.note  Later on, even though the 2020 baseball season wound up being shortened to only 60 games due to the COVID-19 pandemic and many players/coaches elected to skip the season altogether, Manfred ruled the season would still count toward Hinch, Luhnow, and Cora's suspensions. Hinch was quickly hired by the Detroit Tigers and Cora was rehired by the Red Sox following the season's end, leaving many feeling that their punishments wound up being a slap on the wrist.

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