Dallas Braden with his grandmother after pitching MLB's 19th perfect game
on Mother's Day
It was unexpected. It was a feelgood story. It was a perfect game against the best team in the league at the time. The story is A’s pitcher Dallas Braden’s perfect game on Mother’s Day.
Tonight on the 159th edition of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, Braden will be the feature story covering the 19th perfect game in major league baseball history against first-place Tampa Bay Rays with his beloved grandmother, Peggy Lindsey, in the stands.
The 26-year-old Braden, who entered the game with an ordinary 17-23 career mark, had already made national headlines a month earlier with a verbal outburst at Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez, showing a fierce competitive streak. Real Sports correspondent Frank Deford talks with the suddenly famous left-hander and the grandmother who has the same feisty, combative personality.
As Braden said of the game, “The odds were completely stacked against anything like that happening. The best hitting team. The best team in baseball at the time. I mean, I think I’m in the 98th percentile of the slowest throwing pitchers in the game at this point. And that happened? That actually happened out there?”
Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane says of the 727th pick of the 2004 draft, “He’s a little bit like a Yorkshire Terrier. He doesn’t know how big he is and he doesn’t know his size, but he’s got the heart of a lion.”
Braden recounts for HBO the exchange he had with Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez on April 22 when A-Rod crossed the top of the mound on his way back to first base.
“I told him, ‘Stay the f___ off my mound,’ is exactly what I said to him. I just felt like it was just a lack of respect for our team, for myself, for the game.”
Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel airs tonight at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT & 9:00 p.m. CT on HBO. It will be available on HBO On Demand June 28-July 19.
Maury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey, as well as a contributor to Forbes SportsMoney blog. He is available for hire or freelance. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.
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