Monmouth University law class goes to bat for former Detroit Tigers RHP Armando Galarraga

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Armando Galarraga

Every Detroit Tigers fan knows the story by now of the infamous blown play that will forever live in Detroit sports infamy. Pitcher Armando Galarraga had a would-be perfect game stolen from him by umpire Jim Joyce, who incorrectly called the 27th Cleveland Indians batter safe at first base when the replay showed that he was clearly out.

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There was support from Michigan government officials and even the White House to overturn the incorrect call and award Galarraga baseball immortality. And now, Monmouth University is getting in on it 12 years later.

16 members of the University’s “Law and Society” course led by retired New Jersey Superior Court judge Lawrence Jones have submitted an 82-page document to Commissioner Rob Manfred explaining why Galarraga should be recognized for a perfect game.

“This was something, when it first happened, that really resonated with millions of people around the globe — people who are not necessarily sports fans, and that was the point,” Jones said. “When you talk about the intersection between legal principles and social principles, it seemed to me this was a classic case for analysis and discussion. You’re studying how rules are created, how rules are interpreted, principles of fairness and equality — this situation is analogous to so many areas of law.”

“This is about the spirit of the rule and why rules are created,” said junior Antonio Bulzomi, who helped author the document. “It’s about promoting fairness.”

“I never thought advocating could be something like this,” said senior Hannah Latshaw. “I always thought about legal terms, not societal terms. This class and this situation have helped us learn to advocate in a much broader spectrum.”

Galarraga was certainly appreciative of the gesture, speaking with students via Zoom and expressing his gratitude.

“It’s amazing, what they’ve done,” he told the Asbury Park Press via phone last week. “I’m floored.”

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– – Quotes via The Detroit Free Press Link – –

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Posted by Michael Whitaker
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Always at the front lines of Detroit Sports.