A’s pull out stops to honor Braden’s perfect game
AP Baseball Writer
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Dallas Braden is getting quite the bling from his employers in appreciation of his perfect game: a ring featuring 27 diamonds around its base for the 27 straight outs he recorded and another 51 on the face for his uniform number.
His beloved grandmother is being gifted her own pendant version.
The Oakland Athletics pitcher was honored Friday night for his perfect game on May 9 in a ceremony before the team opened its three-game interleague Bay Bridge Series against the San Francisco Giants.
His ring says “PERFECT GAME” with a baseball diamond in the middle – a tiny diamond for each base. The necklace is the same design. Braden was given an image of the ring, but will have to wait for the real thing to be made.
A logo commemorating the left-hander’s perfect game was unveiled on the left-field wall, and it will remain there all season.
Braden, who pitched the 19th perfect game in major league history, also received home plate from the game. Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums proclaimed May 21 as “Dallas Braden Day.”
Braden’s grandma and fellow southpaw, Peggy Lindsey, threw out the ceremonial first pitch to her grandson. She raised him and has been there for Braden since his mother died of skin cancer when he was in high school.
Also part of the festivities was Landon Powell, who caught the perfect game. Only a few hours earlier, Powell was sent down to Triple-A Sacramento to clear roster room for center fielder Coco Crisp’s return from the disabled list.
Powell presented Braden with the catcher’s glove he used that day.
A video tribute played on the two main scoreboards with highlights of Braden’s gem against Tampa Bay and recollections from his teammates of the special day.
Braden will be honored in his hometown of Stockton on Saturday night before the Class-A Stockton Ports play. The pitcher gave a shout out to the Coliseum’s Section 209 and its fans from Stockton – 209 is the city’s area code.
A’s manager Bob Geren said Braden is much improved after a bout with the flu earlier in the week cut short his start Wednesday night against the Tigers.
“He said he got a good night’s sleep the last two nights and feels like he is back,” Geren said.