Braden’s Perfect Game Goes Beyond Just Pitcher

May 11, 2010

On Mother’s Day, Dallas Braden threw the 19th perfect game in Major League Baseball’s rich history.  While Braden deserves the spotlight, there are so many other people who played a part in a masterful performance.

First of all, with Section 26 Sports being located in Columbia, South Carolina, it would be wrong not to start off with the catcher.  Former South Carolina Gamecocks’ catcher, Landon Powell caught Braden on Sunday.

Like the 19 different pitchers to throw a perfect game, every media guide for the rest of Powell’s career will have a bullet stating Powell caught Braden’s perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Powell, who was recently recalled from the Oakland Athletics minor leagues, said that he has probably caught Braden more than any other pitcher in his professional career.

How about the role the other 7 position players played in the perfect game?  The majority of those 27 straight outs were done by the position players.

They receive the credit of playing a significant role in Sunday’s game.  Between the bats and gloves of Cliff Pennington, Daric Barton, Ryan Sweeney, Kevin Kouzmanoff, Adam Rosales, Eric Chavez, Eric Patterson, and Rajai Davis, the perfect game would else not have been possible.

For as much negativity that is thrown Athletics’ GM Billy Beane’s way, the man knows how to build a baseball team.  Like him or hate him, he has found and created careers, specifically with pitching.

Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, Barry Zito, and now Dallas Braden are just a few of the names that Beane has landed over the years.

It is bittersweet for the Tampa Bay Rays.  Yes, they were dealt the hand of witnessing a perfect game.  The problem for them is that it was the second perfect game they have been the victim of in the last two years.  Mark Buehrle threw his perfect game less than a year ago against the Rays.

There is another single person who gets the bullet about a perfect game on his resume, and that is the umpire.  For as much criticism as they receive, home plate umpire Jim Wolf gets the nod as being one of only 19 umpires to say they played a part in a perfect game.

Last but not least, you have to look at Braden’s grandmother, Peggy Lindsey, for her candid comments after Braden’s perfect game.

Until Sunday’s game, Braden was most known for yelling at Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez.  In response to that, following the perfect game, Lindsey said, “Stick it, A-Rod.”

While she has since backed down from that statement, Lindsey, who raised Braden following the death of his mother, said what so many people have been dying to say to Rodriguez over his major league career.

While I am not out to take anything away from Braden’s accomplishment, just make sure you share the love with everyone else who was a part of it.

Congratulations to the Oakland Athletics organization, their fans, and Major League Baseball in general.  But of course, the biggest congratulation goes to Dallas Braden, who will forever live in baseball history.