Dallas Braden

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Dallas Braden
Dallasbraden01.jpg
Dallas Braden in 2010 while speaking in Stockton
Pitcher
Born: (1983-08-13) August 13, 1983 (age 30)
Phoenix, Arizona
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
April 24, 2007 for the Oakland Athletics
Last MLB appearance
April 16, 2011 for the Oakland Athletics
Career statistics
Win–loss record 26–36
Earned run average 4.16
Strikeouts 305
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Dallas Lee Braden (born August 13, 1983) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Oakland Athletics from 2007 through 2011.

The Athletics drafted Braden out of Texas Tech University in the twenty fourth round of the 2004 MLB Draft. On May 9, 2010, Braden pitched a perfect game, the nineteenth in baseball history.

Early life[edit]

Braden was born in Phoenix, Arizona. He played Little League baseball in Stockton, California, playing in the Hoover Tyler Little League. Braden threw out the first pitch at the opening ceremonies of the 2006 Little League World Series. Braden graduated from Stagg High School in Stockton, California,[1] where he played baseball and ran cross country. His mother, Jodie Atwood, died of cancer during his senior year. After his mother's death, he lived with his maternal grandmother. Before playing for the Texas Tech Red Raiders, Braden posted a combined record of 12-4 in two seasons at American River College. He threw a complete game against Fresno City College while allowing one hit and striking out 14 batters.

Professional career[edit]

In 2004, Braden began the season at Single-A Vancouver. He made eight relief appearances, picking up a pair of victories and was promoted to Kane County and pitched exclusively as a starter. He made five starts for Kane County, and posted a 2–1 record.

In 2005, Braden split the season between Single-A Stockton and Double-A Midland. He posted a 6 0 record for the Ports, and a 9–5 mark for the RockHounds. His composite total of 15 wins led all A's minor league pitchers and earned him Pitcher of the Year honors for the Athletics organization.[2] He underwent shoulder surgery in the 2005-2006 offseason.[2]

Braden began the 2006 season on a rehabilitation assignment with the Arizona League Athletics. He made six starts, going 2 0 and moved up to Stockton, where was also 2–0 and a 6.23 ERA. He was promoted to Double-A Midland where he made one start, giving up six runs in 3.1 innings pitched receiving a no-decision. His composite 2006 numbers were: 4–0 record, 4.10 ERA, 55 strikeouts and eight walks in 37.1 innings of work.

Braden warming up before a game against the Boston Red Sox in 2010

Braden began 2007 in Double-A Midland and was called up to Triple-A Sacramento after one start. When Rich Harden got hurt on April 23, he was called up to the majors to replace him.[3] On April 24, 2007, Braden made his first major league start and picked up the win against the Baltimore Orioles.

In 2008, Braden split time between AAA and the Majors. Braden posted an ERA of 4.14 in 19 games. He also started 10 games.

In Braden's first outing of 2010, he struck out a career high 10 batters in seven innings, allowing one run on four hits and walked one. He received a no-decision, but the team got the win in the tenth inning.

On April 22, 2010, Braden was pitching against the New York Yankees when he became angry with Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez when he ran across the pitcher's mound on his way back to first base after a foul ball. At the end of the inning as the players were switching sides, Braden yelled at Rodriguez. Rodriguez offered no apology and later engaged Braden in the press, pointing to his short career and losing record.[4]

Perfect game[edit]

On May 9, 2010, Braden pitched the nineteenth perfect game in MLB history against the Tampa Bay Rays in Oakland.[5] He did it in 109 pitches, 77 of which were strikes. Braden had lost his mother to breast cancer, therefore pitching the nineteenth perfect game in major league history was of even greater significance to Braden because he achieved the feat on Mother's Day.[6]

The Athletics celebrated the feat during the next homestand. On May 17, the A's placed a commemorative graphic on the outfield wall, next to Rickey Henderson's retired number. May 21 was called "Dallas Braden Day" by the City of Oakland. On May 22, Braden was awarded with the key to the city of Stockton at a Stockton Ports minor league game.

After the perfect game[edit]

Following the perfect game, Braden went on to finish the 2010 season with an 11-14 record in 30 starts for the A's. He threw 5 complete games along with 2 shutouts.

Braden went on to pitch in three starts in 2011 before feeling discomfort in his shoulder. It was revealed he had a torn capsule in his left shoulder and would need immediate surgery. Braden missed the remainder of the 2011 season.[citation needed] On December 13, 2011, Braden avoided arbitration by signing a one-year deal. He made $3.35 million in guaranteed money, with $400,000 in incentives.[citation needed]

Braden missed the entire 2012 season and on August 21, Braden required an additional surgery, this time to repair the rotator cuff of his shoulder. The surgery would also sideline him for the first half of the 2013 season. Following the season, Braden was let go and he became a free agent. After the 2013 season, Braden announced his retirement.[7][8]

Braden officially announced his retirement on January 14, 2014, citing his arm being a "shredded mess".[9]

Pitch repertoire[edit]

At the beginning of his minor league career, Braden was known for throwing the screwball. He abandoned it shortly after surgery on his shoulder in 2006.[10]

Braden threw four pitches: A cutter at 82 MPH, a fastball at 86-88 MPH, a slurve at 72-79 MPH and a changeup at 72 MPH.[11]

Personal life[edit]

Braden helps give food and money for Charity Communities in Stockton. On Thanksgiving, he personally collects and distributes food for the needy. The University of the Pacific in Stockton gave Braden an Annual Community Service Award.[12] Braden is now an analyst for Baseball Tonight on ESPN.

See also[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • 2006 Oakland Athletics Media Guide. Pg. 376. Produced by the Oakland Athletics Public Relations Department.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Dallas Braden Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved November 6, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Slusser, Susan (August 25, 2006). "Zito hopes to join elite group with 100th win". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved May 10, 2010. 
  3. ^ "A's place Milton Bradley and Rich Harden on the disabled list". MLB.com. April 23, 2007. Retrieved May 10, 2010. 
  4. ^ Feinsand, Mark (April 22, 2010). "New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez manages to annoy again by stomping on mound in 4-2 loss to A's". New York Daily News. Retrieved April 23, 2010. 
  5. ^ "Braden's perfect game 19th ever and second straight against Rays". Espn.com. May 9, 2010. Retrieved May 9, 2009. 
  6. ^ Lee, Jane (May 9, 2010). "Perfect in pink! Mother's Day A+ for Braden". Major League Baseball. 
  7. ^ Susan Slusser (December 20, 2013). "Ex-A’s pitcher Dallas Braden says he is hanging it up - Oakland Athletics : The Drumbeat". Blog.sfgate.com. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  8. ^ http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article/mlb/dallas-braden-pitcher-of-19th-major-league-baseball-perfect-game-retires?ymd=20140114&content_id=66638466&vkey=news_mlb
  9. ^ Slusser, Susan (January 14, 2014). "Ex-A’s pitcher Dallas Braden says he is hanging it up". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 14, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Dallas Braden and the screwball". Hardballtimes.com. May 14, 2010. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Here's a Thought: Examining Dallas Braden". Bleacher Report. September 8, 2009. Retrieved January 15, 2014. 
  12. ^ "http://www.pastimegroup.com/dallas-braden-to-receive-community-service-award". 

External links[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Mark Buehrle
Perfect game pitcher
May 9, 2010
Succeeded by
Roy Halladay
Preceded by
Ubaldo Jiménez
No-hitter pitcher
May 9, 2010
Succeeded by
Roy Halladay