Donnie Moore (February 13, 1954 - July 18, 1989) was an American relief pitcher in Major League Baseball who played for the Chicago Cubs (1975, 1977-79), St. Louis Cardinals (1980), Milwaukee Brewers (1981), Atlanta Braves (1982-84) and California Angels (1985-88).
In a 14-season career, Moore posted a 43-40 record with 89 saves, 416 strikeouts, and a 3.67 ERA in 655 innings. He was selected as an All-Star in 1985.
A native of Lubbock, Texas, Moore is unfortunately most remembered for the home run he gave up as an Angel during Game 5 of the 1986 American League Championship Series with only one more strike needed to clinch the team's first-ever pennant, and subsequently received the majority of the blame for his team failing to enter the 1986 World Series after the Boston Red Sox came back and won. Moore, who had long battled depression, was dealt a severe mental blow from this event, and sports fans and the sports media never forgot it.
Moore was battling injury at the time of that game, and indeed never was able remain injury-free following it. After saving only nine more games in 41 appearances over the next two seasons, Moore was let go by the Angels. He signed with the Kansas City Royals for the 1989 season, but played only in the minor leagues before being released in June of that year, ending his 14-year career in baseball.
On July 18, 1989, all of the repercussions of the 1986 loss - the decline and now end of his baseball career and serious marital and financial difficulties - along with his battle with alcoholism, drug abuse, and severe depression, finally overcame him. During an argument with his wife Tonya, Moore shot her three times, the incident occurring in witness of their three children. Tonya Moore and daughter Demetria, then 17 years of age, fled from the house and Demetria drove her mother to the hospital in time to save her life.
Back inside the house, still in the presence of one of his sons, Moore turned the gun on himself. He would die of his wound at the age of 35.
When he was cut by Kansas City, he'd really been depressed about that. I mean, here he is, the high-life career . . . then all of a sudden, it's gone. He comes back home . . . and the marriage, the family, is all destroyed. I mean, what else does he have left?
- Demetria Moore on what drove her father to his final acts of desparation