Posts Tagged ‘consequences’

A Perfect Game

If you don’t follow baseball, you may not know that on June 2, 2010, a young pitcher by the name of Armando Galarraga, who pitches for Detroit, was very close to having pitched a ‘perfect game.’ For a baseball pitcher, this means that he either struck out every batter, or, if the batter hit the ball, the outfielders caught it. There were no runs by the other team. For a baseball pitcher, this is a HUGE thing. This would have been like only the 20th perfect game in baseball history. So this was a big deal, and tensions were high (any parent who has had a child pitch for little league knows what I mean).

One ball got hit and made it clear back to the outfield fence, but the outfielder made a spectacular catch and it was an out. So the game came down to the last inning, the last out, and the batter hit the ball… he ran toward first base as the ball was thrown to the pitcher, who was covering first base… and the umpire standing nearby called the runner safe! Everyone looked shocked, because they clearly saw the runner was out. The pitcher, Galarraga, stood there in shock, but just had a smile on his face. He didn’t get upset. Other players were questioning the ump, but the call was the call. (there’s no instant replay and reviewing the call like in football) They eventually got the final out, the game ended. Of course, the manager got in the ump’s face after the game, but he stood by his call. Galarraga missed his perfect game… or did he?

How many times in major league sports do we see athletes acting like prima donas when things don’t go their way? How easy would it have been for this young man to slam his glove down, storm off the mound, create a big scene… instead, he smiled, shrugged, and kept on pitching until the game was won. What an example to our young people! What a role model! Guess what kids? Sometimes life doesn’t go your way. Sometimes you get a bad call! But you just smile and keep on going.

Then there’s the umpire, Jim Joyce. As soon as he saw the replay and realized what he had done, he privately and publically apologized to Galarraga. And Galarraga graciously forgave him and accepted the apology. They faced each other publically the very next day in another game — the Detroit coach had Galarraga deliver the starting lineup list to the umpires at the beginning of the game– and Joyce and Galarraga shook hands in front of a stadium full of people. Joyce was visibly emotional.

What a great example these two gracious gentlemen have shown to all of us in an age when people seem to have forgotten even basic manners and civility. With all that we’ve seen in recent times of people behaving badly, this story is a breath of fresh air.

If you think about it, that really was a perfect game after all.

Copyright 20 10 Mary E. Egidio  Permission is given to distribute this post, with attribution, but not for commercial purposes.  (you can share this with your friends, but tell them who wrote it, where you found it, and don’t try to sell it!)