Athletics

Athletics

OAKLAND — To this day, it's one of the most memorable moments in A's history.

On May 9, 2010, nine Mother's Days ago, Dallas Braden threw a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays. It was the 19th perfect game in MLB history and the second ever by the A's.

Of course, what made this perfect game even more special was the circumstances surrounding it. Braden, who was 26 at the time, had lost his mother to cancer when he was in high school. After that, he was raised by his grandmother, Peggy Lindsey, who was at the Coliseum that Mother's Day.

"The lasting memory is the moment that my grandmother jumps off the top of the third base dugout and makes her way down to the field," Braden told NBC Sports California. "We were able to share an embrace and enjoy that moment and what it all meant to us, having been there on that day, considering where we'd come from."

Where they'd come from is an incredible story. After Braden lost his mother, he lived with his grandmother in Stockton until he graduated from Stagg High School. He was drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 46th round of the 2001 MLB Draft but elected to attend American River College, a community college in Sacramento.

After two years there, Braden transferred to Texas Tech and starred for the Red Raiders baseball team. Still, he was only drafted in the 24th round by the A's in the 2004 MLB Draft, No. 727 overall.

Braden continued to work hard, never giving up on his dream, and eventually reached the big leagues in 2007. Three years later came perfection.

"If I'm being honest, I try hard not to really reflect," Braden said. "I try hard not to spend much time thinking about it because I don't have the emotional capacity to handle that. I enjoy the moment with the fans and I get out of there just in time to hide the tears."

Now a husband and a father, Braden hopes his children will one day understand the magnitude of what he achieved that day in 2010, but more importantly, how he got there in the first place.

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"I just hope that they appreciate the work that it took just to get to that point, not about the accomplishment or that day," Braden said. "I'm sure they'll appreciate that at some point in time. But the take-home message is understanding that it takes hard work. Regardless of where you come from or what circumstances you're a part of, your dedication and your passion, more times than not, can get you where you want to be."