PROGRAMMING NOTE: NBC Sports California is looking back at the A's 50 Memorable Moments since the franchise relocated to Oakland in 1968. Below are the next two moments you can vote on. Tune into A's Pregame Live tonight at 3:30pm to watch highlights of the two moments. After the A's and Red Sox conclude, tune into A's Postgame Live to see which moment will move on to the next round!
1. Dallas Braden's Perfect Game on Mother's Day 2010 (Defeated Rickey Henderson traded back to A's in 1989)
(From Dallas Braden)
Well, they haven't taken it away yet so I guess it might not be a dream after all. It's still insane to think that on such a special day for so many people, my teammates and I were able to etch ourselves into the hearts of A's fans everywhere.
In the moment, I had no clue. At the same time, I was fully aware. Completely focused and emotionally distracted at the same time. Hell, I talked myself into the wrong count in the last at-bat of the game. The 27th out. In that moment I had no clue. No clue I'd become the vehicle for such an emotional moment shared between mothers and their families across baseball that special day. I do believe that's what I was -- merely a vehicle to connect people through our beautiful game. My mom, along with the baseball gods, and Landon Powell, I guess, all steered us down the path of history and to be able to share and relive those special moments and memories is a blessing a young little leaguer can only dream of.
I hope that through my passion for the game you feel the same love I, myself, my wife, baby girl, and grandmother have felt from each of you, the fans of the Green & Gold. We couldn't be happier to share this Mother's Day and every Mother's Day from here on out, TOGETHER! It's a perfect fit if you ask me.
2. Mark McGwire's walk-off home run in Game 3 of the 1988 World Series
(From former A's pitcher and current NBC Sports California analyst Dave Stewart)
I didn't pitch in that game and we had lost two games in LA. That home run was HUGE.
In '88, that was the Kirk Gibson home run in Game 1, and quite frankly after Game 1, we were all stunned that we lost the game in the manner. When I say in the manner, I mean, I had gone eight complete innings and argued to pitch the ninth. Eck was our closer and a dominant closer and it was a game that we don't normally lose. Gibson limps up and hits that home run to win Game 1.
In Game 2, a well-pitched game, a well-played game, but we lose that game. We were obviously the favorites going into the '88 World Series, and now we're coming back home and we think we can get an advantage once we get back at home.
Once again, it's another very well-pitched game on their part, but on our part as well. We're searching for something and the McGwire home run was BIG. It gave us another breath… the wind was out of us, we had gotten kicked in the gut… the wind was out of our sails at that time…so when Mac hits that walk-off… I mean it really gave us some life and we thought we had an opportunity to come back and win this thing.
When you're sitting in that situation and he's the hitter, you have the feeling that you have a chance to win a baseball game and that Mac's gonna get it done. It gave us life, we lost two in LA, we were flat, still playing hard, but we were looking for something and that was it.