Who among baseball fans will ever forget the humble grace from pitcher Armando Galarraga in dealing with the perfect game that was his if not for a blown 27th-out call?
Instead of crying foul or lashing out at umpire Jim Joyce for the error, Galarraga said his peace with class and just let it be, a decision that made the journeyman pitcher legions of new fans.
Galarraga just turned 29. He has a career record of 23-26 with a 4.58 ERA as he gets set to join the Diamondbacks after being acquired from Detroit in a trade. He can pitch, but isn't a household name for his pitching, and probably isn't even the most famous Galarraga from his homeland, Venezuela. That would be Andres "The Big Cat" Galarraga.
But he has achieved fame for his reaction to losing the perfect game.
"I never thought it was going to be such big news," Galarraga said. "A lot of people liked the story because it was a good story.
"I was so nervous and I was so happy. There's a lot of feelings that go through you at that moment," Galarraga added. "I remember when Jim Joyce called it safe at first base on the last out. I couldn't believe it. I was in shock... it made me laugh."
After a little while and before Joyce apologized for his bad call, Galarraga has already realized that things happen. He's somewhat tired of talking about it now, and wants to focus on 2011 in Phoenix.
"I'm excited to bat," Galarraga said, laughing.
The thing about Galarraga that is refreshing is that he knows what he is and what he isn't when it comes to being in the big leagues.
"Sometimes I don't have the big control or the power to win games," he admitted. "The point for me is to be healthy and do my best."
That said, if everything goes right, Galarraga sees himself as a starter who can win 16 or 17 games this season. He looks forward to pitching at Chase Field, calling it a "pitcher's stadium."
"I'm looking forward to doing my job, helping the team, and have a great season," he said.