Thursday, June 2, 2011

One year later, it's still a game of perfection

My, oh my, how fast a single year goes by.

Today marks the one year anniversary of the "28 up, 28 down" Perfect Game tossed by then Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga at Comerica Park in Detroit.

The only problem, of course, was that 1st base umpire Jim Joyce, regarded as one of the best by a vote of big league players, blew the final out when he called Cleveland Indians 2nd baseman Jason Donald safe at 1st base, when in fact, he was the 27th and final out in a brilliant game of perfection by Galarraga..

What happened after the game, and the next day, have become a lesson in something that is dying a slow death in baseball, and in sports...sportsmanship.

Galarraga never complained, not after he saw Joyce call Donald safe when he knew he had clutched the ball in his glove for the final out, or after the game when he told the media, "no one's perfect."

In the umpire's room after the game Joyce, who was berated by the Tigers and manager Jim Leyland on the field after the game, looked at the replay of out #27, and realized immediately that he had made a colossal mistake.

Joyce was so upset that he had blown the call of perfection that he went over to the Tigers locker room and personally apologized to Galarraga for ruining his perfection.

Joyce and Galarraga would meet again the very next day in Comerica Park, as Joyce, the home plate umpire for the afternoon game, shook hands with Galarraga as the tall Venezuelan handed Joyce the Tigers team line up card.

There is a brand new book out, co-authored by Joyce and Galarraga, that takes a look at that magic night in Detroit, from both perspectives of what would have been the first ever perfect game pitched by a member of the Detroit Tigers.

"Nobody's Perfect: Two Men, One Call, and a Game for Baseball History" 



  1. Good post. The one thing is that it will be remembered for a long time.

  2. Yes it will, and as Galarraga struggles in the minors, it may just be the hi light of his career.