Thursday, June 3, 2010

Galarraga teaches valuable lesson: forgiveness

Armando Galarraga taught all of us a valuable lesson in handling the blown call that cost him a chance at baseball immortality: how to forgive.

I was merely watching the game on MLB Network and I was yelling and cursing when umpire Jim Joyce blew the call that cost the young Detroit Tigers pitcher his perfect game. But Galarraga was the most composed person on the field. He later attributed this partly to shock, but the kid's reaction was perfect. Rather than yell at the umpire for what was obviously a bad call, he simply took the ball, got back on the mound and got the next guy out to preserve the 3-0 victory.

Galarraga seems determined not to let the mistake rob him of a wonderful achievement. He pledged that he will show his son the video of the time his father threw a perfect game. Even though it may not enter the record books, he knows in his heart that on June 2, 2010, he was perfect.

After the game, Galarraga was genuinely worried about Joyce's well being and mental health. He was grateful for Joyce's heartfelt apology, noting that it is rare for an umpire to admit to such a mistake, especially to a player. "His body language said more than a lot of words," the young pitcher said. "His eyes watered.”

Galarraga was so concerned that Joyce was taking the blown call so personally and badly that he gave the veteran umpire a huge hug and then went on to publicly absolve Joyce of the blame for taking away his chance at baseball history.

We should all be so forgiving.

Thanks to oneideaprincess via Wikipedia for the photo.

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