Many of you probably have read or heard the commotion surrounding the bad call the umpire made during a Detroit Tigers game last week.
The situation was this, Tigers pitcher, Armando Galaragga, had pitched a “perfect game” through 26 batters. A perfect game means that each batter that comes to the plate either strikes out or is put out before making it to a base (9 innings x 3 outs per inning = 27 batters). Twenty-six men had been to bat and 26 had been retired. The 27th batter then hits the ball and makes his run to first base. There is a close play at first base and the umpire calls the runner “safe”. That means that Galaragga’s hopes of a perfect game ended at that point.
In 130 years of American baseball history only 20 men have pitched a perfect game. So you can imagine the gravity surrounding the call at first base last week.
Here’s the sad thing: the umpire clearly missed the call. The runner was out at first base – no doubt about it! In professional baseball video replay of calls by umpires is not allowed for consideration. The plays stand as originally called.
So Galaragga was robbed of his perfect game! This was a sad conclusion to a perfect effort by Galaragga and the entire Tiger team. But there’s a really cool part to the story.
First off, Galaragga didn’t throw a fit. He took it all calmly and with incredible character. Secondly, the following day when the umpire could see that he had blown the call, he immediately made a public admission of his mistake and apologized to Galaragga. This didn’t change the fact that “on the books” the game went down NOT as a perfect game – though it truly was perfect.
Well, the game may not have been officially “perfect”, but the character of this pitcher and umpire proved amazing! It is a high note during a really sad season of American history. So much moral failure, so much doping, so many sex scandals. Not a lot of public examples of great character these days. But we saw one last week.
Finally, what did I take away from this event? It made me realize that Galaragga pitched a perfect game, even if he didn’t get credit for it from the powers-that-be. The Baseball Commission doesn’t allow replays to effect calls presently.
Well, that’s life. A lot of people don’t get the credit they deserve and others get credit they don’t deserve. And justice doesn’t always happen…now.
But one day there will be a final accounting. And God will review every call and every decision ever made. Then those who may have been denied the credit due them will certainly get it. And those who have secretly cheated and broken the rules, and perhaps gotten away with it, will be found out.
All the more reason to let God be your umpire and your fan club today. His opinion is the only one that matters! We should be playing for an audience of One.