Ten years after his near perfect game, Armando Galarraga wants Major League Baseball to give him credit as if he had retired all 27 hitters.
Jim Joyce will forever be tied to Armando Galarraga. You can’t Google one of them without seeing the other one’s name pop up somewhere within the first three search engine hits. Joyce cost Galarraga baseball immortality, and now Galarraga wants his game recognized as being perfect.
The only problem is, the game wasn’t perfect. Yes, Joyce blew the call, and for all purposes, Galarraga should have gotten his perfect game on the field that sultry June night. This was in a time before the game had challenges, so there was nothing to do at the time.
Later, Joyce acknowledged he blew the call and petitioned for MLB to overturn his error and give Galarraga his due, though the league said no dice.
I’m sure there are hitters out there who wish they had at-bats given back to them because of blown third strike calls. What about the runners who leave base early and are called out after appeal, they’d like to have that back too. There are hundreds of scenarios where a judgement call was made, to see it was the wrong one. Even as blatant as this one.
The call, the game, the career, all in the books now. No going back. Galarraga wants the recognition for his perfect game now, while he is still alive. It would be a travesty if the call was overturned after he passed away and he wasn’t able to enjoy it. Not to worry Armando, that won’t happen either.
Joyce made the call, and however terrible it was, and heartbreaking the situation, the call has to stand and Galaragga will have to be happy with his one hit shut-out, the only one of his career.
I understand how rare perfect games are, with only 23 having been thrown in all of history. I do think this should have been another one, though on the night it was played it was called otherwise. No going back on it now.
Armando Galarraga ended that year 4-9 for the Detroit Tigers before moving on to the Arizona Diamondbacks and finishing his career with the Houston Astros. A final record of 26-34 with zero perfect games pitched.