“I was like, what can I do to have a better finish to the story?” Galarraga said in a story published Tuesday by The Athletic. “How can Major League Baseball give me the perfect game? Because it was perfect, right?”
On June 2, 2010, Galarraga retired the first 26 Cleveland Indians batters in order, then induced a ground ball between first and second base by Jason Donald. First baseman Miguel Cabrera came off the bag to field the grounder and threw to Galarraga, who caught the ball and clearly stepped on the base before Donald arrived.
But first base umpire Jim Joyce ruled Donald safe, an error he acknowledged immediately after the game. Galarraga retired the next batter, but the perfect game (and no-hitter) was lost.
Now Galarraga wants to be given the 24th official perfect game — defined as retiring all 27 batters in order, with the starting pitcher finishing the game — in MLB history.
“Why not?” Galarraga said to The Athletic. “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.’”
Joyce, whom Galarraga forgave in a meeting at home plate a day after the blown call, told The Athletic he believes Galarraga should get credit.
“I agree with him,” Joyce said. “I agree. Because he did it.”
Galarraga, now 38, played just two more major league seasons, appearing in eight games for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2011 and five for the Houston Astros in 2012. He subsequently finished his career with stints in Venezuela, China and Mexico.
He finished his major league career having gone 26-34 with a 4.78 ERA in 100 appearances (91 starts) with four teams, including three years with the Tigers (2008-10) and one with the Texas Rangers (2007).