It's been a rough two years for MLB umpire Jim Joyce. You may remember him as the umpire who took away Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga's perfect game, when he called a runner who was clearly out safe. After that he received threats, even death threats, heck the man even cried and admitted he had made a mistake, but to his credit he kept umpiring games. After an incident this past weekend, I for one am very glad Joyce is still around.
While Joyce was walking to the field for an upcoming game, a stadium employee collapsed and began having what co-workers called "seizures". When Joyce arrived on the scene he noticed something more than just a seizure was taking place and began to give the employee CPR. Joyce was able to keep the woman alive until paramedics made it to the scene.
"I knew something was wrong, and I knew if something wasn't done, this lady could actually die in front of me. It was more instinct than anything else." ~ Jim Joyce
Thanks to Joyce's quick thinking he saved the woman's life, and on top of that he even went to visit her and her family in the hospital on Tuesday. The woman said she remembered hearing Joyce's voice yelling at her to "stay alive" and "keep fighting". To me Mr. Joyce proved himself to be a classy guy, he could have easily ignored the woman and claimed "he never saw her" but instead he stepped up to the plate. Hopefully he's changed a few people's feelings about him. Heck after saving the employee's life he went out and umpired a game at home-plate!
Joyce's fellow umpiring crew gave him the option to switch to third base after the emotional incident but he declined as he needed a distraction;
"It was very emotional, I'll be honest with you but I didn't want to go to third base because just standing there, literally, [the incident] is all I would have thought about all night. I wouldn't have been able to think about anything else. ~ Joyce
I watch SportsCentre just about everyday but I didn't hear one mention of Joyce's heroics after the incident, where as his mistake was paisted all over for everyone to see. The media wanted people to know he messed up, that seems to be all they care about and Joyce appears to have been painted in the wrong picture. Sure he messed up and as a result forfeited a perfect game for a picture but "to err is human" The important thing is he admitted his mistake and moved on, fans should too!
Next time you want to heckle, chirp or criticize an umpire after a call, just remember one day you could need the help of an umpire. Jim Joyce just made the most important call of his 24 year career. Well done Mr. Joyce, well done!