1946 GAME 7
BLAME JOHNNY PESKY The way some tell it, the Red Sox shortstop hesitated while taking a relay from centerfield in the bottom of the eighth, allowing the Cardinals' Enos Slaughter, who had started on first base ("a run to certain death," the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wrote), to race home with the game—and Series—winning run.
BUT WAIT ... The throw to Pesky was more likely at fault. The Sox had lost seven-time All-Star CF Dom DiMaggio to injury earlier that inning and had subbed in reserve Leon Culberson. Slaughter later admitted that if DiMaggio had been in center, he never would have attempted the run home.
1985 GAME 6
BLAME DON DENKINGER Replays are clear: With the Royals trailing the Cardinals 1--0 in the ninth, and 3--2 in the Series, K.C. pinch hitter Jorge Orta was out by a half-step on a grounder toward first. But 1B ump Don Denkinger emphatically called "safe," and the hit spurred a Royals rally—first in the game, then in the Series.
BUT WAIT ... Yes, Denkinger's bad call helped extend the game, but St. Louis's production at the plate—or lack thereof—ultimately cost them the championship. The Cards' entire lineup batted just .185 for the Series (and failed to score in Game 7, getting pummeled 11--0 on the road).
1986 GAME 6
BLAME BILL BUCKNER So seared into the collective consciousness of Beantown fans is the image of the first baseman letting Mookie Wilson's ground ball in the bottom of the 10th go through his legs, allowing the Mets' winning run, that an entire episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm was based on it—25 years after the fact.
BUT WAIT ... Larry David—and everyone else—seems to have forgotten Bob Stanley's wild pitch earlier in Wilson's at bat. That miscue allowed the tying run to score and moved Ray Knight to second. Two days later the Sox jumped out to a 3--0 lead in Game 7—but that one slipped through their grasp too.
1991 GAME 7