U is a fun letter, because it is the first letter in one of my favorite words: UNIQUE.
I try to be UNIQUE in what I do and in who I am. I follow rules if they make sense to me, not just because they are a rule. (A practice that drives Diann crazy when I am driving, but that is a topic for a different day).
I don't want to be one of a crowd, I want to be me, UNIQuE, UNUSUAL,UNCOMMON.
u·nique /yuˈnik/ [yoo-neek]
having no like or equal; unparalleled; incomparable, Limited in occurrence to a given class, situation, or area, not typical; unusual.
I thought I was doing pretty good at being all of those things, but a recent event, here in Michigan, showed us all an example of a truly UNIQUE person.
I may have mentioned before that I am not necessarily a baseball fanatic. To me, it is the slowest paced team sport I have ever seen, perhaps that is why it has become our National Pastime, because as a culture, we seem to gravitate toward slow paced activities.
But even someone like me will catch a ball game from time to time, and I do read the headlines, so this game caught my attention.
an UNUSUAL occurrence in baseball is a no-hitter. This is where a pitcher does not allow any player to hit, however, with a no-hitter a runner still may get on base, either through walks or errors, so it is possible, though UNLIKELY for the other team to score.
A truly UNUSUAL event in baseball is a perfect game. In a perfect game a pitcher gets every single player who comes to bat out. 27 up, 27 down, nobody takes a base, no possibility to score.
How UNUSUAL is that? In the 135-year history of Major League Baseball, only twenty pitchers have done it. In over a century of Detroit Tiger baseball, not one pitcher had ever thrown a perfect game. Ever!
And this last week, Armando Galarraga came close, oh so close, to that UNUSUAL and UNPRECEDENTED perfect game.
It was shaping up to be a game for the record book. But then something happened, something so bizarre as to guarantee this game a spot in the annals of baseball history for a long ling time.
Galarraga pitched to Cleveland player Jason Donald, who hit a grounder toward first base. First baseman Miguel Cabrerra ran toward the ball, and Galarraga ran to first base to cover the play.
Cabrerra picked up the ball and threw it to Galarraga, who caught it and stepped onto first base beating Donald to the plate by at least one full step. The crowd cheered, Galarraga smiled, He had done it, a perfect game!
But UMPIRE Jim Joyce, the UMPIRE considered by many to be one of the greatest in the game did the UNTHINKABLE. He called Donald safe!
You could see the smile disappear from Galagarra's face, he looked confused, bewildered, but then just as quickly the smile returned. A sheepish grin. He knew the play had been called wrong, he knew there was nothing he could do about it. He knew his perfect game was now a thing of the past, and he smiled.
Then they finished the game.
That alone would have been a UNIQUE story, but the rest of the story is what I really want to talk about.
There is no rule that allows for a call review in baseball. The UMPIRE makes the call, it stands. That's just the way it is (except for on home runs).
But Jim Joyce reviewed the film after the game and made his way to the Tigers locker room where he apologized to Galarraga.
Galarraga who is from Venezuela, was quoted as saying, in broken English: "I really respect him, because he say, I need to talk to you. I really say I'm sorry. His eyes were water. He don't have to say much. His body language say more. He probably feel more bad than me. Nobody perfect. Everybody human."
And that, my friends, that part was what I found truly UNIQUE!
I get so tired of hearing the whining and the complaining that exists in professional sports. Those guys are getting paid millions of dollars to play a kids game, and they act like spoiled brats. If we had shown any of that behavior as kids when we played the game we would have been kicked off the team for unsportsmanlike conduct, and weekly, daily, we see some athlete doing something on national TV that should embarrass the entire sport.
So, when someone like Galarraga acts like that, it is truly amazing!
Such incredible UNDERSTANDING, such UNBELIEVABLE grace.
Major League Baseball should be very, very, proud.
This was truly a UNIQUE moment!
Please take some time to check out what others were INSPIRED to blog about this week, at
and feel free to add your own blog to the list as we work our way through the alphabet.