"BLACK PITCHER COMMITTED SUICIDE AFTER LOSING CRUCIAL GAME"
Donnie Ray Moore, above left, was an 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 13-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.
After signing a contract with the California Angles, Moore purchased a lavish home for his wife and three children. The home even had a pond in the back with live catfish.
A native of Lubbock, Texas, Moore is unfortunately most remembered for the home run he gave up as an Angel to Dave Henderson in 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 released 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.
Around this time, Moore was on the verge of losing his home and asked a few active players for a $10,000 loan, everyone rejected him.
In the public perception, Moore became indelibly associated with the Angels' loss of the pennant, in much the same manner that Bill Buckner became associated with the Red Sox' subsequent loss of the World Series later that year.
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. Both survived the shooting.
Back inside the house, still in the presence of one of his sons, Moore then shot himself. He would die of the self-inflicted 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 desperation.