MLB Umpire Jim Joyce Saves Life at Game With CPR

Jim Joyce was previously known for a bad call that cost Detroit a perfect game.

August 22, 2012, 9:54 AM

Aug. 22, 2012 — -- Major League Baseball umpire Jim Joyce is being hailed as a hero for making a life-saving call before the first pitch had even been thrown at a game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Miami Marlins.

Joyce, 56, was heading to the umpire's dressing room on Monday night at Phoenix's Chase Field when he saw a stadium employee begin to shake and collapse to the ground, according to

Joyce, a 24-year veteran umpire, did not immediately respond to a request for comment today, but he told his story to

"I knew something was wrong," Joyce told "And I knew if something wasn't done, this lady could actually die in front of me. It was more instinct than anything else."

Joyce began performing CPR on the woman to the tune of "Staying Alive," which is often used to time the chest compressions during the maneuver.

While Joyce was performing CPR, Marlins bullpen coordinator Jeffrey Urgelles arrived to help. Urgelles was a firefighter and paramedic in Florida.

A first-responder arrived with an automatic external defibrillator (AED), which they used while Joyce continued CPR.

The woman, Jayne Powers, was eventually taken by ambulance to Good Samaritan Hospital where she regained consciousness.

Back at the stadium, Joyce declined an offer from his fellow umpires to let him work third base instead of home plate, which would have been less taxing.

"I couldn't stand on third base and think about it all night," Joyce told "And my job is to do my rotation in the crew, and nothing would have kept me from working the plate last night. Not only that I could get my mind off it because there's action on every pitch."

During the game, a D-backs executive called Joyce to the side to let him know that Powers was awake and was looking like she was going to be all right, according to

"Obviously I wanted to know, unless it had been bad news," Joyce said. "My wife actually told everyone if it's bad news, you don't tell him. Because I wouldn't have been able to continue."

Joyce and his wife Kay visited Powers in the hospital on Tuesday and Joyce told that he was overcome with emotion when he walked into her room.

Powers did not remember Joyce singing "Staying Alive" to her, but she did remember his voice.

"I was yelling for her to come back and everything," Joyce said. "She said she recognized my voice, so that's really kind of cool."

Powers could not be reached for comment on today.

Before Monday, Joyce had been best known for a missed call that cost Detroit Tigers' Armando Galarraga a perfect game in 2010.

Joyce owned up to the mistake and was praised for how he handled the situation. He went to the Tigers locker room after watching a replay and tearfully asked to apologize to Galarraga.

But now, Joyce is known as a hero.

He was greeted with cheers and signs of support when he stepped onto Chase field Tuesday night to officiate another game between the Marlins and the Diamondbacks.

Joyce walked over to greet a fan that had made a sign saying Joyce was a hero.

Members of the D-backs organization and employees of the stadium also thanked him for his actions, causing Joyce to tear up.

"I'll be very honest with you," Joyce told "The way I look at it is, somebody needed help and I was fortunate enough to know what to do."

Joyce also said that he originally learned CPR in high school, but has made sure to stay up-to-date with the maneuver and encourages others to do the same.

"Everybody should know it," he said. "I truly mean that. Everybody should know it. Because if you only have to use it one time, it can, can see what happened."

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