Braden and New York Yankees player Alex Rodriguez(pictured) had a verbal altercation on April 22, 2010, and before Braden's perfect game the incident was still receiving significant coverage.
Before Braden threw his perfect game, controversy arose surrounding him after a game on April 22, 2010, when the Oakland Athletics and the New York Yankees played each other. During that game, Yankees third basemanAlex Rodriguez walked across the pitchers mound. Braden claimed that there was an "unwritten rule" in baseball that only the pitcher is granted access to the mound. Braden later recalled, "I don't care if I'm Cy Young or the 25th man on the roster, if I've got the ball in my hand and I'm on that mound, that's my mound." Rodriguez responded to the incident by saying, "He just told me to get off his mound. That was a little surprising. I'd never quite heard that, especially from a guy that has a handful of wins in his career."
Braden's perfect game took place on May 9, 2010, Mother's Day in the United States. Braden grew up in the care of his mother, Jodie Atwood, until she died of cancer when Braden was in high school. From that point on, Braden was raised by his grandmother, Peggy Lindsey. Lindsey was in attendance during Braden's perfect game. After the game, Braden embraced his grandmother. Lindsey recalls, "It's very special. Dall[as] and I are very close. He just said, 'I love you,' and I said, 'Your mom would have been so proud.' I think that's what he was thinking, too." Athletics' catcherLandon Powell described the moment: "When we first finished the game and celebrated and I saw Dallas hugging his grandmother, I was tearing up...He's had a lot of things happen in his life, even in the last couple of years in the game of baseball, and it couldn't happen to someone who deserves it more."
Landon Powell had only been a member of the 2010 Athletics for 18 days before he was called on to catch Braden on May 9, 2010. On April 21, Powell was called up to the majors from the Triple-ASacramento River Cats after Oakland's second basemanMark Ellis was placed on the disabled list the day before. Powell was originally being used as the back-up catcher behind Kurt Suzuki. Suzuki later sustained an injury and Powell was forced to move up on the depth chart. Braden later praised Powell for his work at the catcher position, "Landon and I — that's seamless. We've come up together. The guy's rock solid back there. I might have shaken [him off] once today. The guy knows my game inside and out." Powell also commented on the game, "I was nervous for him. I knew that we were going to call the same game we were calling the whole time, and it just [was a matter of] whether it would work out or not."
[Braden] threw great...He threw a great game, obviously. He mixed his pitches really well. He didn't leave very much over the middle of the plate. He kept us off-balance with his changeup, kept hitting the corner with the inside fastball. He did a really good job.
When the out was recorded, Braden ran toward first base in celebration, and was bear-hugged by first baseman Daric Barton as the pile-up began. The image of the bear hug was turned into a commemorative icon, which was posted at Oakland-Alameda County Stadium for the remainder of the 2010 season. Afterward, he went to the dugout, where his family was being brought out to the field, and hugged his grandmother tearfully for several moments.