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Jim Joyce

66 – Jim Joyce
Joyce in 2013
Born (1955-10-03) October 3, 1955 (age 60)
Toledo, Ohio
MLB debut May 23, 1987
Umpiring crew
Crew members
Career highlights and awards

James Alfred "Jim" Joyce III (born October 3, 1955) is an American professional baseball umpire. He has worked in the American League (AL) from 1987 to 1999 and throughout Major League Baseball (MLB) since 2000. He wears uniform number 66 (he wore uniform number 6 while in the AL). His strike call is extremely loud and enthusiastic, similar to that of retired umpire Bruce Froemming.

He became infamous for Armando Galarraga's near-perfect game in June 2010. Prior to this, an ESPN The Magazine poll of MLB players called Joyce the best umpire in the game. He also called an obstruction rule in the bottom of the ninth in Game 3 of the 2013 World Series that helped the St. Louis Cardinals to a win over the Boston Red Sox. In 2012, Joyce was promoted to interim crew chief replacing injured umpire John Hirschbeck. His crew consisted of Jim Reynolds, Mike DiMuro, and James Hoye. Joyce was promoted to regular crew chief prior to the 2013 season.[1]

Early life

Joyce was born in Toledo, Ohio on October 3, 1955. He grew up in Toledo where he graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1973.[2] He grew up a die-hard New York Yankees fan, despite the Detroit Tigers being less than one hour away and the Cleveland Indians being less than two hours away. He then attended Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, where he played baseball.[2] In 1977, he graduated from Bowling Green with bachelor of science degree in education.[2]

Professional career

After graduating from Bowling Green State University in 1977, he umpired in the Midwest League (1978–1979), the Florida Instructional League (1978), the Texas League (1980), the Pacific Coast League (1981–1986, 1988), the International League (1987), and the Dominican League (1983). In 1989, Joyce was promoted from the Pacific Coast League to the American League upon the death of MLB umpire Nick Bremigan.[3]

Joyce has umpired in the All-Star Game (1994, 2001, and 2012),[citation needed] the Division Series (1995, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2012, and 2013),[citation needed] the League Championship Series (1997, 2004, 2006, and 2007),[citation needed] and the World Series (1999, 2001, and 2013).[4] ESPN The Magazine released an anonymous poll of 100 current MLB players that voted Joyce the best overall umpire in baseball. For the 2012 season, Joyce served as an interim crew chief due to the absence of the injured John Hirschbeck.[5]

On August 20, 2012, Joyce saved the life of an Arizona Diamondbacks employee by administering CPR to the woman who was in cardiac arrest at Chase Field.[6]

Armando Galarraga's near-perfect game

On June 2, 2010, Joyce made an incorrect call, as the first base umpire, which cost Armando Galarraga a perfect game. Joyce tearfully spoke with the media following the game and admitted he made a mistake: "I just cost the kid a perfect game".[7] Joyce and Galarraga received praise throughout the sports world for the manner in which they handled the situation; reflecting an earlier ESPN poll, players such as Mariano Rivera spoke on the record about Joyce's superb career of umpiring.[citation needed]

In 2011, Joyce, Galarraga, and author Daniel Paisner collaborated on a book based on the game, Nobody's Perfect: Two Men, One Call, and a Game for Baseball History. Due to the book's release, MLB has not allowed Joyce to work any games in which Galarraga would be playing to avoid any appearance of impropriety due to their business relationship.[8]

Coincidentally, Joyce had been on the crew for Dallas Braden's perfect game less than a month earlier.[9] Not only was Joyce the first-base umpire for Galarraga's game, he was also the first-base umpire for the no-hitter pitched by Carlos Zambrano on September 14, 2008.[10]

Other notable games

In September 1996, Joyce restrained fellow umpire John Hirschbeck when Hirschbeck angrily charged into the Toronto clubhouse to confront Roberto Alomar. The day before the confrontation, Alomar had made comments about how Hirschbeck's attitude changed following the death of his son.[11]

Working third base during Game 3 of the 2013 World Series, Joyce determined Allen Craig of the St. Louis Cardinals had been obstructed when Boston Red Sox infielder Will Middlebrooks went diving after an errant throw by catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia.[12] Craig was then awarded the winning run when home plate umpire Dana DeMuth enforced the obstruction called by Joyce.

Honors and awards

In 2009, Joyce was inducted into the Irish American Baseball Hall of Fame.


Joyce, who lives in Washington County, Oregon, is married and has two children.[13] In 2000, he was inducted into his high school's sports hall of fame.[2]

See also


  1. ^ "3 MLB Umps Hired, 3 Retired, 3 New Crew Chiefs". Close Call Sports. Retrieved January 25, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Jim Joyce – 66". Umpires: Roster. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Umpire Moves Up". The Vindicator. April 12, 1989. Retrieved January 14, 2013. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Source: 2012 MLB Umpire Crews". Close Call Sports. April 4, 2012. 
  6. ^ Miller, Scott. Umpire Jim Joyce makes the best call of the year -- before the game. Retrieved August 21, 2012.
  7. ^ "Missed call leaves Detroit's Armando Galarraga one out shy of perfect game". June 3, 2010. Retrieved July 7, 2013. 
  8. ^ Nelson, Amy (June 1, 2011). "MLB will not let Jim Joyce umpire Armando Gallaraga's games". Retrieved June 2, 2011. 
  9. ^ Braden's perfect game 19th ever and second straight against Rays Retrieved July 24, 2012
  10. ^ Zambrano masters Astros en route to first no-hitter for Cubs in 36 years Retrieved July 24, 2012
  11. ^ "Alomar Aftermath Continues". Lawrence Journal-World. September 29, 1996. Retrieved January 14, 2013. 
  12. ^ "World Series gets must-see moment, even if it's obscured by a little dirt". Yahoo Sports. October 27, 2013. Retrieved October 27, 2013. 
  13. ^ Alger, Tyson (June 3, 2010). "Jim Joyce's response to mistake earns him praise". The Oregonian. Retrieved June 4, 2010. 

External links

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