Blown call leads to free Corvette for near perfect Tigers pitcher

Armando Galarraga with Corvette Convertible Grand Sport – Click above for high-res image gallery

On Wednesday evening, Detroit Tigers baseball fans came within one out of watching Armando Galarraga throw the 21st perfect game in Major League Baseball history. Plenty of pitchers have come within an out or two from greatness, but only Galarraga lost his bid at retiring all 27 batters he faced because of a bad call by the first base umpire. General Motors decided to give the hard-luck pitcher a significant consolation prize Thursday in the size and shape of a brand new, cherry red Corvette Grand Sport Convertible.

GM President Mark Reuss says in the post-jump press release that The General gave Galarraga the 436-horsepower droptop as a reward for an excellent performance and because of the way Galarraga handled himself in a tough situation. GM has been a big sponsor for the Detroit Tigers for years, which makes sense considering the fact that the company's Renaissance Center headquarters is clearly visible beyond the center field fence. The General has also paid to advertise on the Tiger's center field fountain. GM couldn't afford to sponsor the fountain in 2009 due to bankruptcy proceedings, so team owner Mike Ilitch placed all three Detroit automakers on the fountain in a show of support for the Detroit automakers.

We're sure the Corvette isn't quite as nice as having a perfect game on the resume, but it's not a bad consolation prize, either. GM gets something from this situation as well, as the Corvette giveaway will probably make its way to many local news outlets, along with some time on ESPN. That kind of advertising probably costs a bit more than $58,580. Hit the jump to read over the GM press release.

[Source: Detroit News]
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DETROIT – Chevrolet today awarded Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga a 2010 Corvette convertible, recognizing his outstanding performance on and off the field.

Galarraga retired 26 consecutive Cleveland Indians batters on Wednesday evening. The 27th and final batter, Jason Donald, hit a routine ball in the hole between first and second base. Tigers' first baseman Miguel Cabrera fielded the ball and threw to Galarraga, who stepped on first base, apparently before Donald touched the base and was called safe.

Galarraga kept his cool, returned to the mound and retired the next batter to record a one-hit, 3-0 shutout, throwing just 88 pitches.

GM North American President Mark Reuss, who presented a Chevrolet Corvette to Galarraga at today's game against the Cleveland Indians, said the way the pitcher had handled the incredible events deserved to be recognized regardless of what record books would ultimately show.

Reuss said he had known the Ilitch family, owners of the Detroit Tigers, his whole life and the family has always been a great supporter of General Motors.

"It is only fitting we help give back for all the Ilitches have done for Detroit and to celebrate Armando's pitching and sportsmanship during one of the most captivating evenings in Tigers history."

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