Kenneth William Burkhart
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Ken Burkhart, a former major league pitcher and umpire, died on Dec. 29, 2004 in Knoxville, Tenn. He was 89.
According to wire reports, Burkhart had suffered from emphysema and died following an extended hospital stay.
As a player, Burkhart posted a career record of 27-20 with a 3.84 ERA in 519.2 innings pitched. He debuted with the Cardinals in 1945 and had his most successful season in the majors, finishing with an 18-8 record and a 2.90 ERA.
An arm injury led to an early exit from the major leagues.
He found a second career in baseball as an umpire and was part of a controversial call in the 1970 World series. During Game 1 in Cincinnati, the Reds' Ty Cline hit a ball in front of the plate. Burkhart moved to call it fair and found himself caught in the middle of a play as Cincinnati's Bernie Carbo slid for home and Orioles' catcher Elrod Hendricks tied to tag him.
Burkhart was knocked to the ground and signaled that Carbo was out. According to reports, the replays showed that Hendricks tagged Carbo with an empty glove and Carbo missed the plate. The play left the game a 3-3 tie and the Orioles won it 4-3.
According to his obituary, he was the umpire in six All-Star games and three World Series. He retired as an umpire in 1973.
He was a member of the Knoxville and Tennessee Sports Halls of Fame.
Source: Associated Press