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Former Phillies Prospect Ends Up on Wrong Side of History

NEW YORK - MAY 30:  Jason Donald #16 of the Cleveland Indians hits a sacrifice bunt in the third inning against the New York Yankees on May 30, 2010 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Bradley ChandlerCorrespondent IJune 3, 2010

Former Phillies prospect and current Cleveland Indians shortstop Jason Donald landed in an interesting situation last night when he was called safe on a routine ground ball to first in the 9th inning.  A play that may go down as the most controversial call in baseball history.

Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga was one out away from a perfect game when Donald came to the plate. On a 1-1 count Donald hit a ground ball between first and second base and immediately ran down the line. Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera fielded it cleanly and the ball was tossed to the waiting Galarraga at first, he tagged the bag ending the game.

27 batters up, 27 batters down... perfect game and MLB history... or was it .

First base umpire Jim Joyce emphatically called Donald safe at first, thus ending the perfect game. The only problem was that it was obvious Donald was out and Galarraga had finished the 21st perfect game in MLB history.

A packed home crowd for the Tigers began to boo and after some debate between Joyce and Tigers coaches  Jason Donald was ruled safe and the game resumed. Galarraga completed what was now a shutout when Trevor Crowe grounded out to third base.

Out # 28.

After the game umpire Jim Joyce admitted his mistake and openly apologized to Galarraga and the Tigers organization. Joyce was openly upset when he met with the media.

"I kicked the (expletive) out of it. And there's nobody that feels worse than I do. I take pride in this job, and I kicked the (expletive) out of it, and I took a perfect game away from that kid who worked his (butt) off all night." stated a openly shaken Joyce.

Tigers coach Leyland told reporters that he would not petition the league and said that he didn't hold anything against Joyce.

"We all make mistakes. It's a crying shame. (Joyce) is a real good umpire, has been for a long time. He probably got it wrong."

Before today's series finale Galarraga was selected to hand out the lineup card to the home plate umpire, who so happened to be Joyce.

Both hugged and a packed Comerica Park was there to witness the event. Galarraga, in a pre-game press conference told reporters he did not hold any grudges against Joyce and that "people make mistakes, this is baseball".

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig is said to be reviewing the play and has the power of executive order to overturn the call. If confirmed this would be the first 28 out perfect game in the history of Major League Baseball.

Who knew that when the Phils traded Donald to the Indians last season that he would make history. As a Phillies fan I'm just glad it didn't happen in the red and white.

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