Thursday, January 6, 2011

"We are all human." ~ Armando Galarraga

Do you have to be a baseball fan to understand how rare a Perfect Game is, and how one mistake by an umpire will always be remembered ?

I read this essay by Amy Nelson of ESPN and was moved to tears.

Here are a few paragraphs [with my choices for bold/italics] from the middle:

He[Jim Joyce] chooses to give the media rare access to the umpires' locker room. He takes full responsibility for kicking the call. When the media leave, Leyland comes in for a beer. He tells Joyce that he blew the call and that he needs to move past it. Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski visits, too, concerned for Joyce's well-being. Both men have known Joyce for decades and, like the players in the league who voted him the top umpire in an ESPN The Magazine poll, hold enormous respect for him.

Joyce appreciates the gestures, but his mind is on one person. He asks Dombrowski whether he can talk to Galarraga.

Dombrowski leaves, and a few minutes later he returns to the umpires' room with the 28-year-old pitcher from Venezuela. Galarraga walks up to Joyce and while hugging him says, "We are all human." Joyce, crying, apologizes in English and Spanish and then leaves the room, unable to speak.

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