Tuesday, June 8, 2010

ABC Wednesday Challenge -- U is for UNIQUE

It's ABC Wednesday again, and this week, the letter is

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

ABC Wednesday,

and feel free to add your own blog to the list as we work our way through the alphabet.

~{@ @}~ ~{@ @}~ ~{@ @}~ ~{@ @}~
Be sure and join me each Tuesday for Tuesday Trivia Tie-in, where readers are invited to share trivia and show off their treasures.
Read all about it here


  1. A great and Unique post for the U day, Troy! Hope you have a terrific week!


  2. Troy I am so glad you wrote about this. I also found this to be a unique and uncommon attitude in a pro baseball players. Amid all the drugging and fallen heroes, It is nice to see someone appreciate that we all make mistake and to accept with grace and dignity the apology of a very good umpire!

  3. Hi Troy...

    Isn't this a GRAND story!!! I read about it and was sooo impressed...truly unique!!! It did my heart good...like the baseball player said...no one is perfect! What a great testimony of forgiveness, etc...baseball...sports...at its finest!!! Thank you for sharing it with us today...enjoyed your post, my friend!!!

    Warmest wishes,
    Chari @Happy To Design

  4. Your post is the winner for the day. To find some one with character like Armondo is a breath of fresh air. thanks for a great U blog post.

  5. Great choice for this week theme. I am unique too ^_^

    ABC Wednesday~U

  6. I love this story. I was wondering about your take on the other issues surrounding the story:
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  7. Uncommon decency in the sports field, for sure. Great post!

  8. Always enjoy hearing stories like this - more good news, that's what we need!

  9. How wonderful! Yes, that's truly unique. Kudos to Galarraga!!

    I hate it when umpires call wrong in a game where there's no review. It happens sometimes in the NFL on unreviewable plays and it is SO frustrating. I appreciate what it cost Galarraga, and how big it was of him to accept the apology.

  10. Troy, I'm not a sports fan and understand very little of American sports, but I did understand the bare bones of this story. I'm so glad you selected it for ABC Wednesday as I think exactly as you do. What a true hero he is and what a role model for our children! And we must give some credit to the umpire for apologizing. Most men would have just brazened it out. Stories like this seem to be so far and few between these days. How sad that these qualities should be the exception. Somehow we in America -- and most other places -- have got lost along the way. These two men in this incident define character!

  11. You are so right. It was a unique moment not just on the part of the athlete, but the Umpire as well. I'd say it's rare that any of them admit to blowing a call...especially in football. I'd be in favor of instant reply in baseball based on this alone.

  12. "Unique" is indeed the ultimate U-word!
    Best wishes,

    Anna's U-words