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 today at 3:30pm to watch highlights of the two moments. After the A's and Tigers square off in the Motor City, 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 (13-time winner -- Defeated Mark McGwire's rookie home-run record in 1987)
(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. "Billy Ball" is born in Oakland in 1980; A's win division series in strike-shortened 1981
(From Ben Ross)
After a disappointing 54-108 season in 1979, the Oakland A's brought in fiery manager Billy Martin, and the "Billy Ball" era was born. Martin promoted an aggressive, high-energy style of baseball, which saw lots of stolen bases and complete games.
The 1980 season marked a 29-game improvement, as the A's finished second in the AL West at 83-79. Oakland completed numerous double steals, and even a triple steal, and 21-year-old Rickey Henderson stole 100 bases, breaking Ty Cobb's American League record. Mike Norris finished second in the AL Cy Young voting, going 22-9 with a 2.53 ERA and 24 complete games. In total, the A's pitching staff posted a ridiculous 94 complete games.
The A's won 11 straight games to start the 1981 season, an MLB record at the time. They finished the strike-shortened season at 64-45 and swept the Royals in the Division Series, before being eliminated by the Yankees in the ALCS. In 1982, Henderson stole 130 bases, still the MLB single-season record. He finished his career with 1,406 stolen bases, also an MLB record.