The Perfect Game That Wasn’t and What it Taught Me
If you are any kind of sports fan, you’ve heard about and probably seen the replay of the blown call by Major League umpire Jim Joyce. It wasn’t simply a blown call, because it occurred with two outs in the ninth inning, and Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga was one out away from perfection. It would have been the 3rd perfect game of this year. Prior to this season, there have been a total of 18 perfect games in MLB history.
This event has pushed some rather big news to the back burners of sports talk radio. The Flyers win in OT to get the series back to 2-1. The Lakers and Celtics square off tonight for the 13th time to decide the NBA Championship. Ken “The Kid” Griffey announces his retirement after 22 years and 630 homeruns. If you’re an avid sports fan who also wants to earn some quick cash, you should probably start betting on your favorite teams now by going to ??????.
Why all the fuss about one game out of a 162 game season? Let me tell you what I observed and why this game will mean more to me than any perfect game ever will, and how I hope this blown call will make me a better branch manager.
The two principal characters in this drama, Galarraga and Joyce, took an impossibly difficult situation and reacted perfectly. Joyce took immediate ownership of the blown call. He is human and he made a mistake, as ALL humans do. You can hear in his voice the anguish and hurt. He admitted right after the game “I just cost that kid a perfect game.” It’s not very often an umpire will do that. In the world of real estate, “owning a mistake” is not a very popular thing to do. With some many parts to a transaction, it’s pretty easy to blame someone else when things go awry. Does pointing fingers or assigning blame make things easier? Does it resolve the issue? I haven’t seen it improve a situation yet. Taking ownership, no matter how clichÃ©, is the only way to move towards the final goal.
Then there’s Armando Galarraga. I’m more of a National League guy, so I don’t know much about him. What I have learned about him and his character in the last 24 hours is that he is an amazing kid. From his muted reaction immediately after the play, to his graciousness after the game when talking to the media, to his forgiveness of the call, Galarraga was a total class act. In this age of spoiled, entitled athletes, Galarraga’s response was flawless. I can say I will remember him more for his reaction to losing the perfect game than I would have if he had pitched the third perfect game of the season. To prove my point, can you tell me the name of the pitcher that hurled the first perfecto this year?
Need a hint?
Oakland Athletics? ”¦”¦..
Nothing against Braden, but his name will be long forgotten when I’m telling my grandkids someday about the perfect game that wasn’t and the amazing way Galarraga and Joyce handled themselves.
Bringing this back to a real estate transaction, if a mistake has been made, and ownership claimed, can you move past the problem, turn the page and move forward? This is not an easy thing to do, but if you can, you control the transaction rather than it controlling you.
Over my 10+ years in escrow, I have seen plenty of situations that require ownership and solutions, not blame and drama. I vow to strive for the Galarraga/Joyce ideal, and stay away from the muck and mire we seem to find ourselves pulled into”¦
How about you?
About the Author: Bill Risser is an Assistant Vice President and Branch Manager of the Chicago Title ”“ Gilbert office. You can find him at CT-Gilbert.com and on Twitter at @billrisser, that is, when he’s not on a local golf course with his son, at the movies with his wife, or tending to one of his four fantasy leagues (NFL, MLB, PGA, and NASCAR).