At last. Someone in sports that we can proudly say is a true role model — someone to look up to — someone with values we should all emulate.
What team does he play for? Is he an American athlete or foreign? Well, he doesn’t play any sport. He’s an umpire.
My vote for the sports role model of the year is major league umpire Jim Joyce — now in the baseball history books for blowing the call on what should have been the final out of a perfect game for Detroit pitcher Armando Galarraga. Joyce called the runner safe neutralizing the 26 straight outs that preceded him.
It was an obvious out on replay, but Jim Joyce didn’t have that luxury. What he did have is the consummate class to admit his mistake and, with tears, to apologize to the young pitcher immediately after the game. In other words, he unconditionally accepted the responsibility of his actions. We can’t direct our child’s eyes to Washington — or the Gulf — or Wall Street — for that. We can tell them about an umpire named Jim Joyce — and that, when it came to class, he was perfect!