I’m not a huge baseball fan. Actually, the only thing I really enjoy about baseball is the beer that typically goes along with it. Other then that, I’d be fine without it. So why am I talking about it? This past week I was listening to a podcast with Carey Nieufwhof (who is the pastor of Connexus Church) who used the example of Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers and his “almost” perfect game. It reminded me again of the importance of owning what is ours. Here’s what happened.
Galarraga was on his way to a perfect game, he had 26 outs already and only needed one more. On the 27th batter, Galarraga threw his pitch and the batter hit it. The throw went to first and the batter was out. The first-base umpire, Jim Joyce, saw something different however and called the batter safe on first. People were stunned, people were pissed, people were on their feet booing the call. The perfect game was blown by a bad call. It probably felt worse then this:
According to MLB.com there has only been 23 perfect games in the history of the MLB, the first one being in 1880 and the last being in 2012. That’s a pretty tough feat for any person to be that close to throwing a perfect game. As you can imagine, Galarraga was fairly bitter at first. After everyone left the stadium, Joyce sat in the dugout, head in his hands, in utter shock of what had just transpired. Then he did the unthinkable. He walked over to the Tiger’s dressing room, owned what was his, and later talked to the press about what had happened. Here’s what he said to the press:
I kicked the shit out of it, I had a great angle on it. I had great positioning on it. I just missed the damn call. I missed from here to the wall.
How’s that for ownership? How’s that for owning what’s yours? Galarraga was great about it and graciously accepted the apology and even shook hands with Joyce at the game the next day while the fans cheered in the stands.
When we own what’s ours and take responsibility for what we’ve done or said, there is a huge opportunity for us to work through the sticky points, build trust and rapport with those around us, and build a conflict resilient community. A community that supports each other even though none of us are perfect (businesses included). A community that embraces others in their mistakes, holds us accountable and encourages us to go out each day and live to the fullest.
And who knows…maybe by taking responsibility for what’s ours will even lead to new business ventures like it did with Galarraga and Joyce.