With the Armando Galarraga-Jim Joyce talk beginning to die down a bit, it's a good time for former pitcher Milt Pappas to whine and complain about a perfect game he lost 38 years ago. It was on September 2, 1972 at Wrigley when Pappas had retired the first 26 batters he faced and had a 1-2 count on Padres' pinch-hitter Larry Stahl. Like absolutely nothing that happened Wednesday in Detroit, home plate umpire Bruce Froemming called three consecutive balls and Stahl walked, ending Pappas' perfecto.
At the time, Pappas told the Chicago Tribune his pitches were "borderline but balls", but cranky old Milton has changed his mind over the years and now criticizes Froemming. Since no one cares about Milt Pappas except the good people at Cooley High School, he took the Galarraga opportunity to call out Froemming, again.
From an interview with SI.com:
I just felt that the last three pitches -- because I had one ball and two strikes on the last hitter -- were there on the outside corner, but he called them all balls. If you look at Don Larsen's perfect game in the World Series, the last pitch thrown to [Dale] Mitchell went under his chin, for God's sake. The umpire knew what was going on, that there was a perfect game going on, and he called him out. Dale Mitchell never said a word. Yet you've got Bruce Froemming saying years later that he didn't know I had a perfect game. How dumb can that be? The umpire didn't even know what was going on in the course of a ballgame, which was ludicrous. I just don't understand why he called those pitches balls when there was a perfect game on the line. He's a very arrogant man.
Hey, Bruce Froemming: didn't you know that young man's got a perfect game going?! This is history, possibly. Those pitches have got to be called STRIKES, no matter where the location! Remember who was umpiring behind the plate during Don Larsen's perfect game? No? Well he knew what was happening and he wasn't about to let some HITTER get a HIT or draw a WALK just because the pitch was six inches high. That's Milton Stephen Pappastedios out there on that mound, show some respect!