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Braden: Perfection

Dallas Braden and first baseman Daric Barton

[Carlos Avila Gonzalez / The Chronicle]

In baseball, a pitcher throws a perfect game when he pitches nine innings (or more, if necessary) and retires every batter he faces. No opposing batter gets on base, whether through a hit, a walk, an error, being hit by a pitch, or any other means.

Perfect games are rare. When one is thrown, attention must be paid. Today, Dallas Braden of the Oakland A’s threw the nineteenth perfect game in baseball history, against the Tampa Bay Rays. I’m paying attention.

Alas, I didn’t see it. This afternoon, we celebrated Mother’s Day by watching golf — the Players Championship, in which Tim Clark won dramatically with a come-from-behind 67 featuring five birdies in six holes. Joel caught the baseball news online, too late for us to switch over to watch the end. (I’m assuming that some network, most likely ESPN, interrupted other coverage to show it.)

Fortunately, Major League Baseball has a website commemorating the game, with links to an assortment of related sites, including a page with seven-and-a-half minute video excerpting from the game’s broadcast all 27 Rays outs.

If you don’t want to watch the entire video, you might at least check out the last two minutes for the final out, after which the camera shows section 209 of the stadium, then Braden and his grandmother in a long embrace. For background on all this, you may enjoy Joe Posnanski’s post tonight about the game. See also the San Francisco Chronicle’s coverage, and the accompanying box score, a thing of beauty.

Categories: Baseball, Sports
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