Monday, December 27, 2010

The Imperfect #1

From the Wall Street Journal.  Monday, December 27, 2010.  Page B8.  The Sports Section.  Written by Jason Gay.

The top 10 sporting moments of the year.

1.  The Perfect Near Perfect Game.

Sure, it seems cuckoo to declare a midseason start by a Detroit Tiger pitcher who finished the season 4-9 the Sports Moment of 2010.  But Armando Galarraga's June 2 performance against Cleveland was exceptional not just for what he did- throwing 8 and 2/3 perfect innings until umpired Jim Joyce wrongly ruled that Mr. Galarraga failed to touch first and record the final out-but for his dignity and perspective in the aftermath.  As an emotional Mr. Joyce excoriated himself ("I just cost that kid a perfect game") the hurler declined to roast the umpire, transforming a potentially anarchic moment into the feel-good sport story of the year.  "Nobody's perfect," he said.

He's not kidding.  If 2010 taught us anything, it's that no one's even close to perfect.

Cheers to Armando Galarraga and his grace to Jim Joyce.  Because Galarraga is in touch with his imperfections, he is able to forgive someone else for their's.  And that's a remarkably difficult thing to do.

And cheers to Jason Gay for recognizing the beauty of this moment to mark it as #1.  It's so beautiful because it was such an unnatural move.  Jim Joyce recognized his fault.  And Galarraga forgave him.  No one would have blamed Galarraga for being angry or lashing out, but instead, we were all surprised to see his grace.

The grace is touching because it's undeserved.  And that's the kind of grace that changes people's lives.  I bet Jim Joyce's life will forever be blessed by the kindness shown to him.

Reading that made my Monday.  I hope you're having a surprisingly good Monda too.  Am I the only one still recovering from the holiday?

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