27 up and 27 down. That is the definition of perfection in baseball. You go through the entire game getting every batter out in their 3 at-bats. It’s rare that you get someone who has a story that is perfect for this kind of achievement and was being chastised by everyone for his “unwritten rule” blast on one of the games best players. Dallas Braden (pictured above) pitched a gem against the best team in baseball the Tampa Bay Rays on a day in which he doesn’t look forward too very much.
Just a junior at Amos Alonzo Stagg High School in Stockton, California, Dallas was sent to live with his grandmother Peggy Lindsey. His mother Jodie Atwood was diagnosed with skin cancer at the time. Just a year later, Jodi succumbed to the disease and Dallas has since been playing with a heavy heart. His grandmother Peggy has been the motherly figure for him ever since and it showed in the aftermath of him pitching only the 19th perfect game in MLB history.
What cinches this story for me is what lead up to May 9, 2010. In a game played on April 22, Oakland was hosting the New York Yankees. During the game on a foul ball hit by Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez was running on the pitch going for third base. When it was ruled foul, A-Rod took the quickest route back to first by cutting across the infield. What he didn’t know was that Dallas Braden doesn’t take too kindly to someone stepping on the mound. Braden was adamant in letting A-Rod know how he felt when the inning was over, but A-Rod wanted none of it simply waving Braden off.
I love the fact that a pitcher won’t take anything from hitters nowadays. That’s old school baseball. The kind I wish were still around. However, Braden’s claim that there is an “unwritten rule” about stepping on the mound is a stretch. A-Rod has done some stupid things i.e; screaming “HA” while running to third base on a pop fly to get someone to drop the ball, slapping the ball out of then Red Sox pitcher Bronson Arroyo at Yankee Stadium, oh and testing positive for PEDs. This isn’t even on the radar for me. What I really loved was the back and forth between the two afterwards.
“He just told me to get off his mound. 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 thought it was pretty funny actually.” – Alex Rodriguez