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Perfection
May 9, 2010 4:43 PM   Subscribe

Dallas Braden had a rough childhood. A problem child in the tough neighborhood of Stockton, California, he was raised by his mother and, after she died, his grandmother, both of whom he credits for turning his life around. Today, on Mother's Day, in front of a small home crowd and his grandmother, Dallas Braden pitched the 19th perfect game in Major League Baseball history and the second in as many years against the white-hot Tampa Bay Rays. This also happened to be 42 years and 1 day after the A's only other perfect game, by Catfish Hunter.

Prior to today, Braden was perhaps best known for calling out Alex Rodriguez for violating the "unwritten rule" against running across the pitchers mound. A-Rod at one point accused Braden of trying to extend his "15 minutes of fame".
posted by dirigibleman (47 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
Nice work, Braden. In your face, A-Rod.
posted by jonmc at 4:47 PM on May 9, 2010 [17 favorites]


I was in Safeco when they cut in to a replay of the last out. Whole place went nuts.

M's fans may hate the A's, but they appreciate when something significant happens in baseball.
posted by dw at 4:48 PM on May 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Good for Braden and the A's. The A's are also only one down from the top spot in the AL West right now.
posted by blucevalo at 4:52 PM on May 9, 2010


EVERYONE appreciates a perfect game.
posted by hal_c_on at 4:59 PM on May 9, 2010


"Strike three" the umpire calls, batter gotta go back and sit down...
posted by sy at 5:00 PM on May 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I don't know when I've actually cried at a MeFi post, but the tears were there when he was hugging his grandma. Thanks for the context - great story.
posted by Madamina at 5:04 PM on May 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I forgot to mention even if you don't like baseball, you should watch the video in the second link for the aww moment with his Gran.
posted by dirigibleman at 5:06 PM on May 9, 2010


Of COURSE he struck out Gabe Kaplan. Dude's 65-years-old...
posted by Ian A.T. at 5:11 PM on May 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dallas Braden's grandmother is here and speaking to the press. She says, and I'm not joking, "Stick it, A-Rod." (source)
posted by null terminated at 5:24 PM on May 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


Thank you for posting this. I needed some heartwarming, and this did the job.
posted by ltracey at 5:27 PM on May 9, 2010


Fantastic.
posted by rtha at 5:33 PM on May 9, 2010


209 represent!
posted by exogenous at 5:34 PM on May 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


In the question of Braden vs Arod, the baseball gods have spoken.
posted by COD at 5:38 PM on May 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


Thanks for this great post. (I have to say I was let down by the response of the announcers in the second link; having had the whole game to figure out what to say, all they could come up with was repeats of "Unbelievable!" and "He did it!" But the scene with the grandmother more than made up for it.)

And what jonmc and granny said about A-Rod.
posted by languagehat at 5:40 PM on May 9, 2010


I was in Safeco when they cut in to a replay of the last out. Whole place went nuts.

M's fans may hate the A's, but they appreciate when something significant happens in baseball.


I was there too. Dave Niehaus (M's longtime Hall of Fame announcer, non-Ms people) had just gone nuts in my ear calling the end of the Braden no-no.

And speaking of cool Mother's Day events, Michael Saunders, a Canadian baseball player, used his pink bat today to hit his first major league home run for the Ms, as his mom, who is fighting her fourth recurrence of cancer, watched.
posted by bearwife at 5:47 PM on May 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Of COURSE he struck out Gabe Kaplan. Dude's 65-years-old...

Except he grounded out.
posted by waitingtoderail at 5:48 PM on May 9, 2010


I've never been to Stockton, but between this guy and Pavement I feel like it must be a truly awesome place.
posted by escabeche at 5:51 PM on May 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Been a huge A's fan all my life. This was the most magical moment I've witnessed as a fan.

Still can't get over it.
posted by ORthey at 6:00 PM on May 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Huge baseball fan. Huge fan of moms. Excellent link!
posted by buzzkillington at 6:03 PM on May 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Of COURSE he struck out Gabe Kaplan. Dude's 65-years-old...

Except he grounded out.


And it's Kapler, not Kaplan.
posted by one_bean at 6:19 PM on May 9, 2010


Twenty-seven men enter, twenty-seven men leave.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 6:22 PM on May 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think Ian A.T. was joking.
posted by dirigibleman at 6:25 PM on May 9, 2010


Just because he pitched a perfect game today, doesn't mean he wasn't a douche about the A-Rod stuff (still going on about it weeks after it happened, when it's a "rule" that not everyone agrees on).

Just because A-Rod is a douche, doesn't mean Braden isn't also a douche.
posted by inigo2 at 6:25 PM on May 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Also, congrats to Braden on the perfect game.
posted by inigo2 at 6:31 PM on May 9, 2010


I've never been to Stockton, but between this guy and Pavement I feel like it must be a truly awesome place.

Seriously, no.
posted by doctor_negative at 7:01 PM on May 9, 2010 [13 favorites]


This is pretty sweet. I'm always surprised when something good comes out of that town.
posted by shinyshiny at 7:49 PM on May 9, 2010


Just because A-Rod is a douche, doesn't mean Braden isn't also a douche.

Say what you will about Dallas Braden, but at least he doesn't have a paintings of himself as a centaur hanging in his bedroom.
posted by MegoSteve at 7:55 PM on May 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


You know, a situation like this one is why baseball can be so great: a 24th rounder, a lefty, a guy who has real personality, had to fight for what he achieved did something that only has occurred 19 times in the sport. Against, the best record team in MLB.

I used to be a huge baseball fan, but see perhaps 4-6 games/yr at this point. It's still not enough to make me a passionate fan again, but get more Dallas Bradens than Arods in the league, and that will do it.

I wish this one day was what restored "MLB" -- not some overdrugged Sosa and McGwire hitting home runs or also drugged about A-Rod finally getting his Series ring.

It was 12,000 or so lucky people at the game, but the sport is better off for this achievement.
posted by skepticallypleased at 8:12 PM on May 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


I tried not crying watching the game tonight. My wife tried too, watching him hug his grandma.

I put Braden on my fantasy team this year at my friend's insistence. Thanks, Ted.

Stockton is a rough place, but it has glimpses of greatness. The stadium for the A's single A team, the Ports, is really great, plus it not only spawned Braden and Pavement, but my favorite Stockton son Grant Lee Phillips.
posted by makabampow at 10:44 PM on May 9, 2010


0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
0 1 1 2 0 0 0 0 X 4 12 0

I hate the A's but perfection is perfection. Damn.
posted by chavenet at 10:45 PM on May 9, 2010


um...Grant Lee Phillips. Sorry
posted by makabampow at 10:46 PM on May 9, 2010


Of COURSE he struck out Gabe Kaplan.

From the Wiki article on Gabe Kaplan:

As a boy, Kaplan had aspirations of being a Major League Baseball player. However, he was unable to make the roster of even a minor league team and decided to pursue other interests.

So yeah, Gabe Kaplan really does no-foolin' suck at baseball.
posted by DecemberBoy at 10:51 PM on May 9, 2010


Let's Go Oakland!
posted by wherever, whatever at 10:54 PM on May 9, 2010


NEVAR FORGET
posted by wemayfreeze at 1:48 AM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


HOLY TOLEDO!
posted by pianomover at 3:03 AM on May 10, 2010


I went to the A's-Rays game. On Saturday. Missed it by that much.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:27 AM on May 10, 2010


Amazing, and because it was mothers day I was spending the day and didn't have time to edit my fantasy team and left him on the bench. So congratulations to him, but can he do it next time so I can remember take him off the bench?
posted by lilkeith07 at 9:42 AM on May 10, 2010


Yet another excuse for the angry and the jealous to pile on A-Rod.
posted by L'OM at 10:59 AM on May 10, 2010


kirkaracha: me too!
posted by small_ruminant at 11:48 AM on May 10, 2010


Yet another excuse for the angry and the jealous to pile on A-Rod.

Late to the party but...

“He just told me to get off his mound,” Rodriguez said. “I was a little surprised. I’d never quite heard that. Especially from a guy that has a handful of wins in his career.”

I'll concede that this made me angry. But jealous? Not so much. Anyone who uses the lol n00b tactic in any mode of discourse is an utter stain. Wouldn't want to be that guy, wouldn't want him on my team.
posted by tigrefacile at 2:46 PM on May 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I can never get enough of those moments; the rest of the team fucking flipped out as much as Braden did. Nothing like seeing a group of grown men suddenly reverted to little boys.
posted by Skot at 3:29 PM on May 10, 2010


I defy anyone here to come up with a better achievement than throwing a perfect game in the presence of your grandma.
posted by whuppy at 5:27 PM on May 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, this is weird. Roy Halladay just pitched another perfect game, the first time in MLB history that two perfect games happened within a season, much less a month.

I don't know if his grandmother was in the stands.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:35 PM on May 29, 2010


Oops. There has been another season with two perfect games -- 1880. Also, counting Buerle's perfect game last season, there have been three perfect games in the last calendar year, which I'm betting is unprecedented.

This has been a crazy baseball day. David Huff got beaned in the head by a line drive and had to go to the hospital, and Kendry Morales hit a walkoff grand slam! Then promptly broke his leg in the celebration (not gruesome) and is out for the season.

Also, I watched my first baseball and hockey games in HD!

No one's really reading this.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:21 PM on May 29, 2010


I am, I totally am! While watching the Giants kill the Diamondbacks.

Poor Morales. Jesus.
posted by rtha at 8:43 PM on May 29, 2010


> Oops. There has been another season with two perfect games -- 1880.

That ain't the half of it. Those two in 1880 (by Lee Richmond of Worcester and John Montgomery Ward of Providence—yes, Worcester and Providence were major league cities for a few years!) were not only the first perfect games ever, they were five days apart! After that, there wasn't another until Cy Young's in 1904, twenty-four years later.

Monte Ward deserves a post of his own; not only was he a great pitcher (47-19 with 239 strikeouts and a 2.15 ERA in 1879), "he became the first champion of player's rights and remained a thorn in the owners' side long after his playing days ended... Because of his anti-establishment stances, no doubt, he was left out of the Hall of Fame for nearly four decades." (source)
posted by languagehat at 9:21 AM on May 30, 2010


...and I see the five-days-apart thing has been covered in the new post. Bah. That's what I get for starting with Recent Activity.
posted by languagehat at 9:32 AM on May 30, 2010


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