Forgiving the Worst Call in Baseball History (Galarraga and Joyce)

If you haven’t heard about this or seen it, last night the kids and I witnessed baseball history: We saw Armando Galarraga throw a perfect game (no walks and no hits over 9 innings) only to have one of the worst calls in baseball history end his perfect night. Jim Joyce called the 27th player safe when he was clearly out.

Watch and hear about it here:

Perhaps the more remarkable part of this story is the reaction of both the umpire and the pitcher. The umpire watched the replay, realized he made a mistake, and immediately went to apologize to the pitcher. The pitcher forgave him saying: “no one is perfect.”

Listen to more on their conversation here.

When we make a mistake, we need to take responsibility, and when we do, people are more often willing to forgive us than we might imagine. For a pitcher who was in the minor leagues just a couple of weeks ago, he has every right to be upset and hold a grudge against the umpire. Instead, he chose to forgive.

It may not be recorded like this in the record book, but last night because of the way he pitched and the way he responded, I saw the ending to a perfect game.

Showing 6 comments
  • Paul Steinbrueck

    Thanks for blogging about this, Eric. I tweeted about the incident this morning and got lots of @replies noting how gracious both Galarraga and Joyce have been. As bad as I feel for both men, in a way their response has kind of turned this into a great story.

  • Faline Waggoner

    Very cool. Forgiveness and grace, powerful stuff!

  • Beth McKamy

    Wow, how awesome is that. Both Joyce & Galarraga are class acts. And both handled the situation the way we should all handle life. If the league does what it should, they will record the game as a “perfect” game for Galarraga. If I had been the player that hit the ball, I would have called the league and said, “Give it to him”. Record it as a perfect game, and then move on. No need to punish or suspend Joyce. It was a human error that I believe has a place in sports. I don’t want instant replay to pick winners, but in this rare case I believe it should correct the mistake.

  • Ryan Tate

    Wow. I saw this happen and couldn’t believe it either. I am stunned at how Galarraga’s immediate reaction was merely a simple smile on his face. I like it when a smile is the first reaction when something bad happens. It shows that there is peace to be found in the situation, and that humility has a chance. He followed up the smile with a hug for the umpire and the “no one is perfect” line (heard in the other conversations on ESPN). I am encouraged by Galarraga’s humility and choice to forgive. Thanks for posting this Eric.

  • Brad Russell

    Eric, great post. Tragic for baseball… but maybe not. Three perfect games back-to-back would have been (is) a huge story, but I think you’ve captured the remarkable, bigger story.

  • Scott Couchenour

    Nice to see that ownership of mistakes (integrity) and forgiveness still exist today. Thanks for the post about it.

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