Virginia Bianco-Mathis
University professor, author

Virginia Bianco-Mathis

Business department chair of management programs at Marymount University and author of two books on executive coaching.

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The lost art of integrity

Q: Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga lost his bid for a perfect game when umpire Jim Joyce botched a call. Joyce apologized to Galarraga, who said he gave the ump "a lot of credit." Why did this classy ending come as such a surprise? Does success lie in the initial achievement, or in what happens next? /em>

It's one thing to be talented and a winner. It's another to also be gracious and a person of integrity.

Some years ago, Andy Roddick -- one of the best tennis players of all time -- marched over to the official and conceded that the last call was in error and that his opponent's ball was not out. Mr. Roddick lost that match, yet went on to win many other championships and earned a reputation of being a man of integrity.

This situation with Joyce and Galarraga is similar. Both men stepped up and acted with truth and humility. They set aside their egos and dealt with the situation honorably.

What goes around, comes around. Now Galarraga -- like Roddick -- will not only be known as a great baseball player, but also as a great man. As the years go by, people remember "the story" long after the statistic.

The story of Galarraga pitching a perfect game, then having it called wrong, then the umpire apologizing, then the league still not reversing the call, then Galarraga graciously accepting the apology and the circumstances ... now that's a good story.

The more important question seems to be this: Why, as a public, are we so amazed when someone acts with honor and integrity? What does that say about our expectations of one another and the state of the 2010 man or woman?

By Virginia Bianco-Mathis  |  June 10, 2010; 10:58 AM ET  | Category:  Close calls Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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"Why, as a public, are we so amazed when someone acts with honor and integrity?"

Perhaps because we don't see it as much anymore.

Posted by: BEEPEE | June 14, 2010 10:26 PM
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It should also be noted that, Mr. Roddick said this to an umpire two years ago:

"You're an idiot! Stay in school kids, or you'll end up being an umpire."

Posted by: manitou1 | June 14, 2010 1:18 PM
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