The Perfect Game That Almost Was
On June 2, 2010, Joyce made a controversial call at first base, ruling baserunner Jason Donald of the Cleveland Indians safe. Had the call gone the other way, pitcher Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers would have completed a perfect game, having retired the previous 26 Indians batters without allowing a single baserunner. Replays show that the call was incorrect, and that Donald had in fact been out at first.
Tigers’ color commentators said that "The Tigers’ fans have been cheated out of the greatest pitching experience in Tiger history." Joyce spoke with the media following the game and admitted he made a mistake: "I just cost the kid a perfect game. I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw until I saw the replay. It was the biggest call of my career." Joyce apologized to Galarraga following the game after he saw the replay. A perfect game by Galarraga would have set a Major League record of three perfect games in twenty-three days.
In a related video from the next day, see umpire Jim Joyce wipe away tears after receiving the Tigers’ line-up card from Armando Galarraga.