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MLB 49 800 Top MLB stories of 2010 12341122 Throwing 'em out there Throwing+%27em+out+there MLB

When baseball fans look back on 2010, surely they'll remember it as the year of the pitcher. And the Phillies' Roy Halladay stood above all hurlers. Take a look back at Roy's big year and the other top MLB stories of the past year.

Click here for MLB's best photos of 2010.

Matt Slocum - AP Images
MLB 49 800 Top MLB stories of 2010 22208074 Jim Joyce, June 2, 2010 Jim+Joyce%2C+June+2%2C+2010 MLB

Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga was one out away from what would have been the season's third perfect game when umpire Jim Joyce made a horrible call, deeming the 27th batter safe at first base. (He admitted he was wrong immediately after the game.) While he could have been forgiven if he'd flipped his lid and argued the call, Galarraga instead paused, looked at Joyce and gave him a wry smile. In doing so, Galarraga taught the entire baseball-watching population a lesson in grace and sportsmanship and elevated what would have been a remarkable story to an unreal watercooler tale that continued into the next day, when the pitcher met the dejected umpire at home plate for a handshake felt round the world.

Paul Sancya - Getty Images
MLB 49 800 Top MLB stories of 2010 22208073 You can't make this stuff up You+can%27t+make+this+stuff+up MLB

Dallas Braden pitched the season's first perfect game on May 9 — a sunny Mother's Day afternoon on which players across MLB donned pink sweatbands and swung pink bats to raise awareness for breast cancer research. This was the first complete game in Braden's career. After the last out, Braden embraced his grandmother, who raised him after his mother died of (you guessed it) cancer when he was a teenager. It's safe to say there wasn't a dry eye in Oakland Coliseum.

Marcio Jose Sanchez - AP Images
MLB 49 800 Top MLB stories of 2010 22208070 Nobody does it better Nobody+does+it+better MLB

Roy Halladay threw the season's second perfect game on May 29, just 20 days after Dallas Braden threw the first. Easily the season's most dominant pitcher, Halladay topped himself when he tossed a no-hitter in Game 1 of the Phillies' NL Division Series vs. the Reds. The ace became the only perfect game pitcher to throw another no-hitter in the same season. He also became only the second pitcher, after Sandy Koufax, to throw a perfect game and win the Cy Young Award in the same season.

Wilfredo Lee - AP Images
MLB 49 800 Top MLB stories of 2010 22200312 Goodbye to the Boss Goodbye+to+the+Boss MLB

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner died July 13, taking center stage away from that night's All-Star game. Love him or hate him (or a little of both), you can't deny that the larger-than-life Steinbrenner had more influence on baseball than any executive in the history of of the game. During his 37-year ownership — during which he became a pop culture icon — the Bronx Bombers earned 7 World Series titles and 11 pennants. Known for firing managers and spending money like a drunken sailor, Steinbrenner could be harsh, often berating and publicly humiliating employees. He also had a charitable side, giving millions of dollars to worthy causes.

Frank Franklin II -
MLB 49 800 Top MLB stories of 2010 22208092 Phenom menace Phenom+menace MLB

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg struck out 14 in his long-awaited and much heralded major league debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Washington, Tuesday, June 8, 2010. The frenzy surrounding the 21-year-old's first appearance was palpable and he gave hope to an otherwise woeful Nats franchise. Unfortunately, Strasburg's season, and D.C. fans' brief flirtation with glory, ended prematurely with Tommy John surgery. He's expected back in the 2012 season.

Manuel Balce Ceneta - AP Images
MLB 49 800 Top MLB stories of 2010 22213196 No-hit wonders No-hit+wonders MLB

You know it's a crazy year when you throw a no-hitter and don't even get your own gallery pane in a "best of the season" countdown. Besides the two perfect games during the regular season, there were three plain old, run-of-the-mill no-hitters: Rockies' Ubaldo Jimenez (April 17), Rays' Matt Garza (July 26 ) and Diamondbacks' Edwin Jackson (June 25).

MLB 49 800 Top MLB stories of 2010 23687006 No argument here No+argument+here MLB

Bobby Cox, known as much for his winning ways as his way with words directed at umpires, retired at the end of the 2010 season, after 42 seasons in baseball. He collected his 2,500th win the last week of the regular season and took his Atlanta Braves to the postseason one last time. No manager was ever ejected from more games (161) and only three (Connie Mack, John McGraw and Tony La Russa) collected more wins (2,504). It's as impossible to fathom baseball without Bobby as it is to imagine Bobby without the game. Other managers who stepped away from the game in 2010 were the Dodgers' Joe Torre, the Blue Jays' Cito Gaston and the Cubs' Lou Piniella.

Jamie Squire - Getty Images
MLB 49 800 Top MLB stories of 2010 22220061 The Giants win the Series! The+Giants+win+the+Series%21 MLB

This team was not supposed to take it all. The scrappy San Francisco squad didn't even clinch their division until the final game of the regular season. This lovable band of misfits shocked the supposedly superior Philadephia Phillies in the NLCS and headed into the World Series as underdogs. But the pitching staff held down the powerful Rangers and unlikely offensive heroes, such as Cody Ross and Juan Uribe, emerged, giving the Giants their first chamionship since 1954 ... and the first since moving from New York to the west coast.


Tony Gutierrez - AP Images
MLB 49 800 Top MLB stories of 2010 22200318 Junior retires Junior+retires MLB

Future first ballot Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. wanted to play just one more year. And he wanted to finish his career where he started it, with the Seattle Mariners. Well, he got one of out two. Struggling at the plate and embarrassed by reports that he napped in the clubhouse during a game, Junior got the impression that Seattle manager Don Wakamatsu no longer wanted him on the club. So the popular and revered player stepped away on June 2. As tributes poured in, those lucky enough to have seen him play began to realize what a giant hole his departure would leave in the grand old game.

Ted S. Warren - AP Images
MLB 49 800 Top MLB stories of 2010 22200317 Alex Rodriguez, 600th home run Alex+Rodriguez%2C+600th+home+run MLB

When the season began, there was no doubt that the Yankees' A-Rod would reach 600 homers. But after he hit No. 599, he went through a 46 at-bat homer drought. When he finally smacked the milestone ball on Aug. 4, he became the youngest player ever (35 years, 8 days) and the seventh player in history to join the 600 Club.

Jim McIsaac - Getty Images
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