Not Perfect

One was signed out of Venezuela at age 16, the other has been a major league umpire for the past twenty years, but Armando Galarraga and Jim Joyce became linked together by a single play. On June 2nd Galarraga was pitching for the Detroit Tigers, and having a perfect game going against the Cleveland Indians. He was one out away from making history. Jason Donald hit a ground ball to first baseman Miguel Cabrera that should have been the final out to end a perfect game.

Joyce was working at first base that night and called Donald safe, but replay clearly showed he was out. The blown call has become a catalyst for expanded use of replay.  Galarraga got the last out for a 3 to 0 Tigers win. Joyce went back to the umpire dressing room and looked at the replay; he realized that he had made a mistake. Shortly afterwards in the Tigers clubhouse, team president Dave Dombrowski told Galarraga that Joyce wanted to talk to him.  Joyce apologized to him and started to cry. Galarraga didn’t hold a grudge against Joyce for what happened and seemed more concerned for the umpire than losing the perfect game.

The following day Joyce was greeted with applause and moved to tears when Galarraga gave him the lineup card.  Galarraga was given a red Corvette by General Motors for his outstanding game play. This situation, though not perfect, proved to be a shining example of sportsmanship

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