The time two umpires almost got blackmailed over a hookup with strippers

Library of Congress

I didn’t put “must-click link” in the headline because there wasn’t room, but I kinda doubt I need to tell you that you need to click on this link, which takes you to a wonderful story by William Ryczek over at The National Pastime Museum.

The short version: in 1960 two big league umpires, Ed Runge and Bill McKinley, went to a strip club after working an Orioles game and met a couple of dancers. The next night, after working a game in Washington, the dancers invited them to their hotel room back in Maryland. Runge and McKinley went. After things started to get . . . a little intimate, a couple of goons broke into the room and snapped photos of it all.

Anyone who has seen “L.A. Confidential” knows that it was a shakedown from the start. One in which, in lieu of cash, the blackmailers suggested that Runge and McKinley help throw a baseball game. That, my friends, is about as much deep trouble you can imagine an umpire getting into.

So what happened? What did Runge and McKinley do? You have to go read the story to find out.