Friday, June 04, 2010

Armando Galarraga should be the S.I. Sportsman of the Year

Oh I am sure there will be some record breaker in football or basketball. Probably there will be a hero in the World Cup.

Or perhaps Phil Mickelson's Masters win will get people all weepy.

But how could there be a better example of class, excellence and sportsmanship than what Galarraga displayed over the last few days?

He showed excellence with the perfect game... and then overwhelming calm when the call was blown, and he just gave a laugh.

That night he had the dignity to comfort umpire Jim Joyce after the game.

And then came the next day. Everyone screaming bloody murder. I wrote about 4,392 blog posts about it.

Airwaves were jammed.

Columnists wrote about it.

Bud Selig mulled over it!

A regular season game between Detroit and Cleveland overshadowed Game 1 of the NBA Finals between Boston and Los Angeles!

Even the White House referenced it!

And how did Galarraga, the man who was denied immortality, handle it?

Less than 18 hours after it happened and tempers simmering, he brought the line up card out to the visibly distraught Jim Joyce, shook his hand, gave him a pat on the back and it was a new day.

Try watching that clip and not get choked up.

You tell me there isn't a Little League coach or a Pop Warner, YMCA basketball league or youth hockey coach in the world worth their weight who wouldn't want their players showing that kind of sportsmanship!

When everyone talks about the selfishness of the athlete and how nobody can relate to them and how they are a bunch of spoiled cry babies, along comes Armando Galaragga. The guy who had every reason to bitch and moan showed set the new standard for playing it cool.

The S.I. Sportsman of the Year is supposed to honor not only those who play the best on the field, but dignify the sporting world (you know, like past honorees Pete Rose, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa.)

Galaragga's class is something that should not just be swept under the carpet.

In an odd way, for Galaragga's legacy, the blown call was the best thing that happened to him.

Sure Dallas Braden and Roy Halladay got their moment in the sun from baseball fans. But my in box and Facebook page was filled to gills with messages from friends of mine who don't even follow baseball.

My wife even said "Now I have faith again in that stupid game."

He even got a Corvette out of it.

Give him the Award. And when future generations ask "Why was the Tigers #3 starter the Sportsman of the Year?" they can learn a little bit about class.

And hopefully by then, those kids will ask "But didn't they have instant replay then like now?"

Follow sullybaseball on Twitter


  1. Anonymous12:39 PM

    hammer meet nail head

  2. Anonymous2:54 PM

    Some things that seem so important to us as humans to get, doesn't happen we are very upset. But then there's Mr. Galaragga. A REAL gentleman. I know he's probably upset, but the way he handled this situation during and after the wrong call, it puts a perfect game on the back burner. Here's life in your face. Mr. Joyce manned up and apoligized and Mr. Galaragga matched him in forgiveness. I think Shakespeare said, Men of sterner stuff. Being Tigers fan, I was angry, but watching what these two men's actions, made me feel bad about my behavior. They taught all of us that records are nice but owning up to your misktakes and forgiveness, that's what we should take away from this game.

  3. CMACK3:03 PM

    Totally agree. But I'd let him split the award with Joyce because he showed great character, too. He didn't hide behind some spokesman's press release. He owned up to his mistake immediately, apologized, and fully owned that he ruined Galarraga's shot at history.

  4. Anonymous7:21 PM

    Every year, Sports Illustrated awards a sportsman of the year award. Often this is given to the best athlete, however, this year, I believe they should give the award those who truly show the best in sportsmanship.
    My Vote is for Galarraga and Joyce --
    Role models for how we all should behave as sportsman.

  5. Anonymous7:24 PM

    John Huey is Editor of SI
    You can also add comments directly at

    Spread the word. If Betty White can be voted to host SNL, Galarraga and Joyce should be voted in as sportsman of the year.

  6. Sully I agree with you 100%
    I am sharing this on my Facebook and Twitter account to help spread the word

  7. This is a very well expressed sentiment. In an age where athletes are in the news for the wrong reasons, players smash helmets and break things, he did what he should have done.

  8. Dean Temple5:10 PM

    Just came from a high school girls volleyball game with no real meaning where the ref made a couple of bad calls and parents needed to be restrained, thought of Galarraga's class in handling a meaningful bad call, maybe we can somehow refer to "A Galarraga" when people need to be reminded of what sportsmanship is, he has my vote for SI Sportsman of the year