Tuesday, June 8, 2010


 Kirthmon F. Dozier / Detroit Free Press/MCT

I listened to the end of the game on the way home from the hospital last Wednesday.

Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians.

I could feel the excitement through the radio. The noise was deafening. Ninth inning. Twenty-six Cleveland batters out. Tiger pitcher Armando Galarrago one out away from a "perfect game." Cleveland batter Jason Donald hit a ground ball. Routine play. The first baseman, Miguel Cabrera, snagged the ball and tossed it to Galarrago, who touched the bag ahead of the runner.

Done deal. Out! Positively, absolutely, undeniably, and reliably OUT!

But then disbelief.


First base umpire, Jim Joyce, called Donald safe.


Chaos. Confusion. Confrontation.

But not from Galarrago.

He smiled, said nothing, and went back to the mound to get the next batter out.

Later he said, "Nobody's perfect."

And later Joyce apologized. He and Galarrago shook hands.

And hugged.

Joyce could have taken the next day off. But he didn't. He took his place behind home plate.

He cried.

I cried.

What life lessons of integrity, humility, honor, forgiveness, grace, courage, self-control, understanding, sportsmanship!

Lessons that would have been lost if Donald had been "out."

If official records showed a "perfect" game.

Instead we have perfect lessons from a "less than perfect" game.

I can't imagine any better outcome.

A perfect game that wasn't.

Yet was.

The Tigers will donate the first base bag, Galarraga's spikes, and a ball from the game to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The story will be told.

And lessons will be learned.

In baseball and in life.

Because no matter what "bad calls" come our way, it's all good, because we are safe.

Safe in our Father's arms.

And He turns the "bad" into good.

And I can't imagine any better outcome.

Copyright © 2010 by Sandra Heska King


Duane Scott said...

I loved this post! I've read three other posts on this very blog fodder, and yours was the best. Not that the others weren't good, but I really liked the way you closed the story. Beautiful.

Man I love baseball.

Sandra Heska King said...

Thanks, Duane.

I love baseball, too. Grew up with it. If we'd had a girls' softball team, I would have played. Every so often, I consider joining the church team. But then I chicken out. Can't afford to break anything else. ;)

S. Etole said...

You do your words justice ...

Bonnie Gray said...

I'm starting to get used to this concept of an imperfect game!

So, did you play softball? ... or what was your sport?

I would've loved to play field hockey in high school. But, I love watching practically any sport.

Sandra Heska King said...

@Susan: You are such a blessing!

@Bonnie: I fear I'm a spectator. Not real athletically inclined. I remember playing a little (very little)basketball in junior high. My kids laugh at my "form" when I try to play now. Would love to have played softball. Would still love to play softball. Watching my kids play basketball and soccer was the best (and now granddaughter and soccer)--and watching baseball. I guess my sport is cheering. :)

Billy Coffey said...

Amen, Sandra. Amen. This was one of those moments that showed true class and grace. What a great post.

Sandra Heska King said...

Thanks, Billy!

Related Posts with Thumbnails