One June 2, 2010, Jim Joyce was put in perhaps the worst spotlight ever placed on an umpire. With two outs in the ninth inning, Joyce blew a call, wrongly ruling that Cleveland Indians batter Josh Donaldson beat out an infield single. That call infamously stole a perfect game away from Detroit Tigers starter Armando Galarraga, but what happened afterward was far more miraculous and rare than retiring 27 consecutive batters.
According to reporters on the scene, Joyce addressed the media after the game while literally in tears. He didn’t get belligerent or try to hide from his mistake, but owned it, openly bemoaning that “I just cost the kid a perfect game.”
Galarraga’s reaction was downright heartwarming. He showed little emotion on the field after being informed of the call — after he had already begun celebrating the non-perfect game. Afterwards, Galarraga focused not on the blow call or his robbed perfecto, but the fact that it was the best game of his career.
“[Joyce] probably fe...