Galarraga on Botched Call: "Nobody's Perfect"

Armando Galarraga appears on the Early Show, June 4, 2010.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga said that he was initially upset when he realized a blown call cost him a perfect game, but he has made peace with the outcome, in large part because of the umpire's heartfelt apology.

Umpire Joyce admitted he erred on what would've been the final out in Detroit, when he called Cleveland's Jason Donald safe at first base. The umpire personally apologized to Galarraga and hugged him after the Tigers' 3-0 win.

"It was not easy coming and telling the people… 'I was wrong…. I just screwed (up) the perfect game, this kid worked so hard to do it. And, I mean, it meant a lot to me," Galarraga told Early Show anchor Harry Smith on Friday.

"And when this guy go talk to me, he can't even talk, he was crying. And I understand nobody's perfect. It's part of the game," Galarraga said. "And that's why baseball is so important, so difficult."

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Galarraga admitted that right after the play in question, he wasn't sure if the runner was safe or out at first base. In fact, he didn't argue, he laughed.

"I was so emotional," he said. "I don't know how to react because I was so nervous. I mean, my first reaction is laugh. Don't think too much. Go to the mound and just try to get out of this game."

Galarraga credits his demeanor for his reaction.

"I'm a calm person. At that moment, (I did) not get angry, I was more sad about it," he said.

Because the pitcher and umpire handled themselves so well, Smith noted, people will forever remember the two as perfect gentlemen who displayed top-notch sportsmanship.

It also didn't hurt that Galarraga was given a 2010 Corvette convertible by GM for his near-perfect game.

The automaker surprised the right-hander before the start of Thursday's home game against the Cleveland Indians.

"It was crazy," Galarraga told Smith. "They were like, 'No, no really.' I was so surprised."