May 10, 2010

Guest Post: Joy in Mudville!



Yesterday, Oakland A's starter (and California native) Dallas Braden pitched a perfect game.  This guest post is written by my dad, a life-long Oakland A's fan, and is filled with tidbits and trivia and honest to goodness Oakland A's love:
It’s commonly thought that Mighty Casey’s hometown of Mudville is really Stockton, CA. Sunday, Stockton’s own Dallas Braden of the Oakland A’s pitched a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays, a game I wondered if they were even going to be able to play as I drove home from Mass in a downpour.
This is the second year in a row the Rays have had a perfect game thrown against them, but so far this year they have been the AL’s best offensive club, so that’s even more special. It was “209 Day” at the Coliseum (209 being Stockton’s area code) and everyone in section 209 got a discounted ticket, and I wager they’ll all be keeping the stubs for years to come. And today being Mother’s Day, it was even more special that Dallas Braden’s grandmother, who raised him after his mom died of cancer when he was in high school, was in attendance. First perfect game ever to be pitched on Mother’s Day. (Senator Bunning pitched one on Father’s Day in 1964, though.)

The A’s now join the White Sox, Yankees and Indians as the only franchises to have two perfect games pitched for them in their histories. This was the 18th perfect game in 140 years of major league ball, which works out to about 1 every 11,000 games. On Baseball Tonight on ESPN, Chris Berman asked John Kruk whether, as a fielder, in a big situation like that, you want the ball to be hit to you, and Kruk said, “Well, I never wanted the ball to be hit to me.” (Kruk is the guy whose memoire is titled, Hell, Lady, I’m no Athelete, I’m a Ballplayer.) A’s SS Cliff Pennington did have the final ball hit to him, and he looked ready for it—threw a rocket to first for the final out.

And no, I didn’t see it on TV because we went out for a Mother’s Day lunch at the Mongolian barbeque. I probably couldn’t have coped if I had tried to watch it [Ed. note: this is so true!]. But I’ll check it out on On-Demand later on...

Final score was 4 – 0, just like Catfish Hunter’s, the other A’s perfecto. Catfish had 3 RBI in his game, though, it being before the advent of the DH.
Here's the final out.  'Tis a beautiful thing!:

1 comment:

  1. The best part about Braden's efforts were how they were immortalized by the A's announcers:

    First, the TV announcer: "He did it! He did it! Dallas Braden just throwed a perfect game!"

    Then, the radio announcer: "A perfect game! Dallas Braden just throwed a perfect game!

    Apparently, in such moments of high excitement, proper grammar escapes even the best...
    Or maybe these midwestern/eastern ears can't make sense of a West Coast accent.

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