Nearing the 10-year anniversary of his perfect game, former Oakland Athletics pitcher Dallas Braden shares some details about how he was feeling during his most triumphant day.
On Mother’s Day 2010, Dallas Braden of the Oakland Athletics made his scheduled start even though he was not feeling 100%. While pitching with a heavy heart, and most likely a headache, he retired every Tampa Bay Ray he faced, pitching baseball’s 19th perfect game in history.
There have been several documented stories of players being under the influence of something while accomplishing amazing athletic feats. Even more, players have faced competition while recuperating from the after-effects of such indulgences.
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Dallas Braden lost his mother to cancer when he was a teenager and has faced numerous Mother’s Days without her. Each day has to be hard for Braden, especially the day each year which honors the woman who brought him into the world.
Braden opened up to the San Francisco Chronicle saying he was hungover when he took the mound to face the Rays in 2010. Braden acknowledges he never treated the night before a day game the way he did that night, as he and his companions were “getting after it quite a bit.”
One would believe the alcohol consumption was to suppress some demons Braden faces for not having his mother. He comes across very stoic in his discussion of the events leading up to the game. Taken at face value, he is just a man dealing with the pain he faced on a daily basis.
Had Braden not pitched a perfect game, this story would just be a footnote. The fact he tossed the best game of his career and accomplished a feat only a handful of other pitchers have is remarkable. The story here is one man’s feelings for his mother, and the pain he lives with every day. A side note is the perfect game.
We tend to view professional athletes as being superhuman. With the story coming out of Dallas Braden’s perfect game we see he is not immune to the emotions so many have felt before.
Hats off to Dallas for sharing his story.