If I asked you which one of the pitchers scheduled to start on Sunday May 9, 2010 would throw a perfect game you probably would have chosen two time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum, how about Ubaldo Jimenez who already threw a no-hitter earlier this year, or A.J. Burnett who also has a no-no under his belt. Nope, none of these flame throwers threw a perfect game. Okay, so how about Adam Wainwright who was last years runner up for the Cy Young and a top tier pitcher in the league, or how about a trio of young south-paws with filthy stuff like Clayton Kershaw, Ricky Romero, and Jon Lester. Nope, none of these young guns threw the 19th perfect game in MLB history either. So who did?
How about 26 year-old left-hander Dallas Braden. Braden, who you probably remember for his skirmish with A-Rod two weeks ago when Rodriguez ran across the pitcher’s mound which apparently is one of baseball’s infinite “unwritten” rules, threw the first perfect game since Mark Buehrle did it last season. All that being said, let’s concentrate on and celebrate only the 19th perfect game in major league history (yep, only 19). Braden is also only the 7th lefty to pitch a perfect game, joining an even more elite list which includes potential Hall of Famer David Wells, sure-fire Hall of Famer Randy Johnson, and Hall of Famer and one of the best left-handed pitchers in MLB history in Sandy Koufax. What makes Braden’s perfect game even more impressive is that he only had 6 strikeouts throughout the game, relying on the defense behind him. Braden also became the first pitcher in major league history to throw a perfect game against the team with the best record in the league at that time (this year the Tampa Bay Rays hold the league’s best record).
Braden’s perfect game was even sweeter as it was thrown on Mother’s day in front of his grandmother. Braden and his grandmother Peggy Lindsey, who raised him after his mother’s death when Dallas was in high school, shared a special moment on the field on a Mother’s day Sunday afternoon. Their moment together not only affected Oakland A’s fan everywhere, but baseball fans in general; just another example of sports and the impact it can have on life.
Happy Mother’s Day Mom!