#50: Dallas Braden
Disclaimer: Dallas Braden is not one of the top 50 Athletics in terms of consistency. However, when he threw his perfect game on May 9, 2010. Braden was only the 19th pitcher in major league history to accomplish such a feat – and in 109 pitches, no less. The game took place on Mother’s Day – a special day for Braden, given that his mom had passed away when he was in high school – and it was the Tampa Bay Rays who were on the losing end.
Braden spent five years in the Oakland Athletics organization, and did not pitch for any other team during his brief career. His 26-36 record, as well as his 4.16 ERA, are hardly memorable numbers. However, pitching a perfect game is so rare that it would have been impossible to leave him off this list entirely. Even now, five years later, only 23 perfect games have been achieved. Let’s just take a moment and admire the perfect circumstances that had to occur to make Braden’s game happen.
Editor’s note: I promise it gets better from here.
Next: Top 50 Oakland Athletics: #49