Well, Alex Rodriguez, it’s time to remember the name of Dallas “Instant Hero” Braden, because in a few years, he might be on your team.

The Oakland Athletics pitcher tossed a 4-0 perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays, marking the first perfect game in Oakland in 42 years when Catfish Hunter achieved the feat.  Hunter would eventually sign a free-agent contract with the New York Yankees.

This is one of those moments that every true sports fan salivates over.  More than stats, we want to see athletes put more stock in their game than just money.  Braden has done just that.

To quote Braden’s grandmother, “Stick it, A-Rod!”

After the controversial confrontation between Oakland Athletics pitcher Braden and New York Yankees infielder Alex Rodriguez on April 22, in which Braden exploded at Rodriguez for walking across the mound, Braden has truly established himself as a force to be reckoned with.  Braden put himself on the line against A-Rod and then raised his game.

More importantly though, Braden would accredit the team for the effort in this sparkling performance.  

“It’s without a doubt a team effort,” Braden said. “You got eight guys out there chasing balls and knocking balls down for me. So this is ours, not just mine, this is ours.”

The sad part of this story is that this performance by Braden, however, should underline the dire need for Major League Baseball to terminate the territorial rights of the San Francisco Giants in San Jose, so that the A’s can build a stadium there.

Why do I say that?

Braden pitched the A’s first perfect game since Hall of Famer Jim “Catfish” Hunter’s gem on May 8, 1968, against the Minnesota Twins. Only 6,298 were there to witness it. Sunday’s crowd at the Coliseum wasn’t much better: 12,228.

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