Umpires are not suppose to make headlines. Average fans aren’t even suppose to know their names, but Jim Joyce made a call on June 2, 2010 that rocketed his name across every major news outlet in the country. The veteran ump was wrapping up another early summer game in Detroit as first base umpire when Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga continued his quest toward the 21st perfect game in MLB history.
He had dominated the Cleveland Indians for eight innings and entered the ninth seeking baseball’s second perfect game in five days after Roy Halladay completed the feat on May 29th. Indians rookie Jason Donald hit a harmless dribbler to the right side of the infield, where Miguel Cabrera fielded it and threw to Galarraga. While it was a close play, Donald was clearly out but Joyce proceeded to make one of the most notorious calls in baseball history.