Everyone remembers watching Brett Favre on Monday Night Football just hours after his father’s death. Everyone remembers Dan Jansen doing a victory lap with his daughter Jane, named after his sister who had died of leukemia. Everyone remembers Lance Armstrong crossing the finish line at the Tour de France after his bout with testicular cancer. Everyone remembers watching Jon Lester throw a no hitter after his fight with lymphoma. However, what happened on Sunday truly tops all of these stories in my opinion.
Dallas Braden: a virtual no name. Career record of 18-23. Career ERA above 4. Roughly 6 strikeouts per nine innings. Plays for the “oh yea I forgot about them” Oakland Athletics. If someone told you that he was going to throw the 19th perfect game in MLB history, you would probably point and laugh at them. But that is exactly what happened. 27 up, 27 down.
Now you’re probably thinking to yourself, “OK, what makes this so special?” This story is remarkable to me because of what happened to Braden during his senior year in high school. His mother, Jodie Atwood, died of skin cancer. While players wore pink necklaces and used pink bats to honor their mothers on Mother’s Day, Braden had to think about how his mother was no longer with him. However, when he stepped on the mound for those nine innings, he definitely had someone special on his side.
Sports can truly be miraculous at times, and something about this event particularly struck me. People can not make up stories this good. Hollywood can not make movies this good. What happened in Oakland today was truly a miracle.