Dallas Braden may have lost his mother years ago to melanoma, but with “his rock” cheering him on from the stands, Braden was perfect on the mound, on the perfect day. On Mother’s Day, Braden’s grandmother, Peggy Lindsey, who cared for Dallas and steered him clear of trouble while he dealt with losing his mother as a teenager, was in the stands watching as Dallas Braden of the Oakland A’s became only the 19th player in Major League Baseball history to pitch a perfect game.
Braden’s path to perfection has been filled with shortcomings, but the time to get it everything right could not have come on a more perfect day. With his grandmother in the stands watching, Dallas gave the best performance of his life. Dallas faced the minimum amount of batters against the best offensive team in baseball this season, the Tampa Bay Rays, striking out six along the way to one of baseball’s biggest feats.
The 27 up and 27 down wasn’t just for grandma though. Braden’s hometown of Stockton, California, seems to take up most of the seats every time Braden takes the mound at Oakland Coliseum. Dallas, proud of the struggles he has overcome and always grateful to his hometown, after calling for his grandmother, pointed to his fans in section 209 (the Stockton area code) as if to remind them once again that he is proud to have their support.
The 26 year old lefty became just the second player in Oakland A’s history to throw a perfect game. The other was Hall of Famer Jim “Catfish” Hunter, who pitched his perfect game May 8th, 1968 against the Minnesota Twins.
For Dallas Braden, his grandmother, and his fans from the 209, this Mother’s Day will be the one that won’t be forgotten any time soon.