Because Nobody’s Perfect

I’m betting that Armando Galarraga has a saintly Catholic mother and that somewhere, last night about 10 p.m., she was smiling quietly to herself. Because we all saw the replays from the ninth inning of last night’s Tigers-Indians game. And because we all saw what Galarraga did after the play and after the game. As a nation of outraged baseball fans saw on the ESPN replays, the Tigers’ young pitcher made the third out, and umpire Jim Joyce blew the call. Joyce admitted it after the game. “I just cost that kid a perfect game,” he told reporters. Galarraga had retired the first 26 Indians in a row and was on the verge of only the 21st perfect game in Major League history. Instead, he had a “one-hit” shutout. And what did Galarraga do?

While his teammates howled at Joyce from the dugout, then swarmed him after the game, Galarraga smiled—after a momentary reaction of dumbfounded, childlike amazement. He walked away from an argument with Joyce, returned to the mound, and retired the next batter. Then, according to The New York Times:

Galarraga told reporters that Joyce apologized to him after the game, adding that he had no instinct to argue the call. “He probably felt more bad than me,” Galarraga said. Smiling, he added, “Nobody’s perfect.” 

That’s a good Catholic kid for you, I’d say, with the emphasis on good. There are plenty of baseball players and evidently many who were raised Catholic. But how many of them, in the same circumstances, would turn the other cheek . . . and get the next batter out? Good work, Mrs. Galarraga, wherever you are!

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  • Frank

    I'm a sucker for baseball posts, and this is a good one Webster. And might I plug the video series "Champions of Faith" while I'm at it. Play Ball!

  • cliff

    Thanks for putting up this post. I love baseball, my Catholic faith and now I have a blog post for today. :)

  • Eric Sammons

    I watched the 9th inning live with my kids, and I too was struck by Galarraga's reaction. He may have lost a perfect game, but he sure did set a great example.

  • James

    What a catch by Austin Jackson! And what exceptional composure and graciousness exhibited by Mr. Galarraga. It certainly is a refreshing example for us all. Hopefully Bud Selig will do the right thing and correct the record. I feel bad for Jim Joyce and admire his restraint and humility in the face of the outrage directed at him.

  • tbaugh

    that ump looked like he was being physically crushed by the weight of the hatred in that stadium

  • Anonymous

    Divine intervention will prevail+

  • Anonymous

    I live in metro Detroit and a local radio station that I listen to called the umpire at his home and spoke with him this morning. Apparently he was so torn up about his call last night that even Jim Leyland came and spoke with him and tried to console him. Good to see the good sportsmanship! He did say though that he is getting threats against his family and that is really upsetting him even more. Poor guy.

  • Frank

    @James: MLB yanked the first video I posted, but man you are right. What hustle by Austin Jackson. A pitcher's best friend with a catch like that! Beautiful