There are only 23 perfect games recorded in the history books involving major-league baseball.
It should be 24.
There is a base from the Tigers-Indians game in Detroit on June 2, 2010 up in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., with a marker on the side that reads “Near Perfect” with Armando Galarraga’s name etched below.
But the Tigers pitcher was perfect that day.
On that day, Galarraga, a journeyman pitcher from Venezuela, was in the middle of enshrining himself into baseball glory. But because of a horrendous call made by first base umpire Jim Joyce in the ninth inning, Galarraga was robbed of his perfect game on what should have been the last out of the game.
Now, almost 10 years later and in a pandemic-ravaged world, Galarraga wants to change the narrative.
“I was like, what can I do to have a better finish to the story?” Galarraga told The Athletic website in a story published Tuesday. “How can Major League Baseball give me the perfect game? Because it was perfect, right?”
The 38-year-old righty, who has been retired from the game for almost eight years, wants the league to overturn the call made all those years ago and credit him with throwing a perfect game.
“Why not?” Galarraga said. “Why wait for so long? I don’t want to die, and then they’ll be like, ‘You know what, he threw a perfect game.’ “
If you re-=watch footage of that game and of that ninth-inning play, Galarraga, who ran to cover first base, had clearly beat Jason Donald to the bag to get the out.
“I agree with him,” Joyce told The Athletic. “I agree because he did it.”
Even Joyce, who retired after the 2016 season, knew he made the wrong call. He asked then-commissioner Bud Selig to overturn the call during that 2010 season.
Selig never changed the ruling. It could set a bad precedent for overturning other “bad” or “controversial” calls made through baseball’s more than 150-year history, the commish argued.
Fans still view Galarraga, who retired after six seasons because of the wear and tear the game took on his body, as a “perfect” pitcher. Even then-Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm issued a proclamation saying the state recognized Galarraga’s perfect game.