On this New Year's Day, I wanted to take a look back at my favorite moment of 2010. There were actually a lot of good things that happened but the most memorable moment, at least for me, involved a professional baseball player and umpire.
The player was Armando Galarraga. On June 2, 2010, Galarraga had pitched a perfect game through 8 2/3 innings. No hits. No walks. Just three up, three down.
The last batter hit a ground ball that was thrown to the first baseman. It was a close play and the umpire called the runner .... safe.
Everyone was stunned. How could that have happened? A perfect game - something that is beyond rare - seemed to have happened. And then it did not.
Within moments it was clear from instant replay that the runner was actually out. The umpire had missed the call. However, professional baseball does not use instant replay to review calls.
The next batter came up, grounded out and the game was over. The call could not be changed. No one felt worse about it than the umpire, Jim Joyce. Mr. Joyce is an extremely respected umpire by players, umpires and managers. He is one of the best. Still, like all of us, he is human.
The tears were flowing down his face the next day when he and the pitcher, Armando Galarraga, met at home plate in a show of unity and forgiveness. It was a hard moment to watch. But it was one I will never forget.
The pitcher did get a new car from his Detroit Tigers. And most people will remember him and his near perfect game more than if he had actually gotten credit for the perfect game. Still, what I remember the most is how honorable both men acted through it all.
Jim Joyce and Armando Galarrago were recognized at the 2010 ESPY Award Program this summer. Right after the incident happened and the days that followed both were professional and respectful of each other.
In this day and age of over paid athletes who are often not role models, it is inspiring to see two men who have the character of Jim Joyce and Armando Galarraga.
Thanks for stopping by and Happy New Year to you.