Galarraga, Joyce reunion an ESPYs highlight
Linked umpire and pitcher come together to present award
Major League Baseball's players didn't win any ESPY Awards on Wednesday night during ESPN's annual sports awards ceremony, but the Grand Old Game provided the audience with one of the show's more poignant moments.
In the early stages of the show, longtime ESPN anchor Chris Berman retold the story of Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga and the June 2 perfect game he lost when umpire Jim Joyce made and then admitted to making the incorrect call on an infield hit that would have been the final out.
Berman then introduced Galarraga and Joyce, who provided an encore of their now-famous June 3 lineup-card exchange handshake at home plate before walking to the podium at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles to announce the winner of the Best Moment ESPY.
"Every umpire strives for the same thing -- not to be noticed," Joyce said, speaking first. "So much for that.
"But it's good to be here and good to be alongside a terrific young man and pitcher in Armando, who will always be remembered for his grace and class, regardless of what the record books say."
With that, Galarraga introduced the winner of Best Moment, which went to Landon Donovan's goal and the United States soccer team's victory over Algeria in the recent World Cup.
As for the rest of the baseball nominees, a wide range were represented, though the sport didn't take home any hardware.
Washington Nationals phenom Stephen Strasburg was nominated for Best Breakthrough Athlete, which went to Chris Johnson of the NFL's Tennessee Titans.
Chicago White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle's outstanding between-the-legs, backwards Opening Day glove-flip out was nominated for Best Play, as was Fordham University baseball player Brian Kownacki's astounding home-plate leap over the catcher, but both lost out to Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre's game-winning touchdown pass to Greg Lewis against the San Francisco 49ers.
St. Louis Cardinals slugger Albert Pujols, the 2009 National League Most Valuable Player, was nominated for Best Male Athlete, which went to New Orleans Saints Super Bowl hero Drew Brees, and the 2009 World Series champion New York Yankees were beaten by those Saints in the Best Team category.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.