Perfect

Posted on September 1, 2011

0


According to Webster’s Dictionary the word perfect means, being without fault or defect; exact, precise; complete. For most people perfect means there were no errors, that everything was just right. What is your definition of perfect? When I hear the word perfect I think of something rare and untouchable. On May, 9th 2010 Oakland Athletics pitcher Dallas Braden threw only the 19th perfect game in Major League Baseball’s 134 year history.

On this day, Dallas Braden did not allow a single player from the Tampa Bay Rays to reach first base. He retired all 27 batters in succession on his way to his first perfect game. Needing only 109 pitches for this rare feat, in which 77 of those pitches were thrown for strikes. The A’s pitcher struck out six of the 27 batters he faced and the rest of the 21 outs he got help from his teammates as they played solid defense behind him. They made leaping grabs fielded routine ground and fly balls and made some terrific catches in foul territory. While his performance on the mound was perfect for Major League Baseball, to Dallas Braden what made this accomplishment even more significant is the fact that he did it on Mother’s Day with his Grandmother in the stands.

Dallas Braden hugging grandmother Peggy Lindsey

Dallas Braden hugs his grandmother Peggy Lindsey after throwing the 19th Perfect Game in MLB history.

For Dallas Braden Mother’s Day has been somewhat of a bitter-sweet day for him over the past few years. He lost his mother to skin cancer when he was a high school senior, and his grandmother was the one who helped him through the most difficult time in his life. As a youth growing up in Stockton California, Dallas had many chance to follow the wrong path but he credits his grandmother and mother for keeping him on the straight and narrow. So when he pitches on Mother’s Day he is grateful because he knows that he is where he is at today because of his mom, even though she is no longer here. We saw this emotion as he pointed up to the sky after the final out was recorded as if to say, “this one’s for you mom, thanks”. Then came the moment when he embraced with his grandmother.

As my family and I sat and watched this emotional embrace between a professional athlete that we respected so much and his grandmother we got lost in our perfect moment. As we stared at the television in awe and amazement I saw tears coming down the side of my dad’s face as he watched a player he respected rejoice in what he had just achieved in the game my father loved. I looked at my mother who was no longer just teary eyed but was in complete sobs at this point. Only then staring at her did I notice the tears running down my face. I felt the emotions they all felt, just like my dad I respected Braden and enjoyed his appreciation for his accomplishment. Like my mother, I was still in awe about the extremely rare game we just witnessed. And like Dallas Braden I was able to enjoy this moment with the people who meant the most to me. There is an old saying out there, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars” (Les Brown). Well on May 9th 2010 Dallas Braden was standing on the moon, and for one moment I was there to.

Advertisements
Posted in: Editorial, MLB