OTD in 2010: Armando Galarraga Was Robbed of MLB’s 21st Perfect Game


This happened during a completely insignificant June game between the Tigers and the Indians. Neither team would be pictured in the playoffs in October. Detroit held a 3-0 lead at the bottom of the 9e and Jason donald was at bat for the Indians with two strikeouts and a 1-1 count. The game seemed almost over. What made this game important was the performance of pitcher Armando Galarraga. It was about to be a perfect match, the 21st in MLB history and the first for the Detroit franchise. Jason Donald hit a ball to the ground as first baseman Miguel Cabrera cut and sent back to Galarraga who had rushed to the base.

The televised view was unclear, none of the announcers knew what to call it, but first baseman Jim Joyce delivered his judgment. Donald was safe and the perfect match was lost. A quick glance at the replay revealed the call was incorrect, the runner had been beaten by the pitch. Jim Joyce readily admitted afterwards: “No, I didn’t get the call correctly… I had a good angle on it, I had a great positioning on it. I just missed that damn call. Both Galarraga and Joyce have asked the MLB to award the perfect match despite the unsuccessful appeal. The mistake prompted MLB to extend instant replay rules to avoid similar mistakes, but the damage was already done.

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