The Beckett Blog

Dallas Braden’s perfect game caps historic week in baseball by Chris Olds

What a week it was in baseball…

Dallas Braden, a 27-year-old lefty for the Oakland A’s best known for jawing with Alex Rodriguez over his sacred territory, threw a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays on Sunday.

Braden holds a 17-23 career record in four seasons with a 4.62 ERA, but on Sunday he became just the 19th player in MLB history to achieve perfection with his 4-0 victory. It was the first perfect game for Oakland since Jim “Catfish” Hunter did it in 1968.

Braden appears on just 142 different baseball cards with 45 of those autographed and only eight of those are Rookie Cards. His most valuable card is just $15 — a trio of 2007 Exquisite Collection autographs share that distinction.

On Friday night, Philadelphia’s Jamie Moyer (Best RC 1987 Fleer, $2) became the oldest player to throw a shutout at 47 years old, and Cubs rookie Starlin Castro homered in his first at-bat and drove in a record six RBI for a debut game. This has sparked a feeding frenzy on his Bowman cards from last year and his first certified autograph arrives this week in 2010 Bowman.

There were also somber moments this past week as two Hall of Famers died. Long-time Detroit Tigers broadcaster Ernie Harwell died after a fight with cancer. He was 92. He appeared on 32 cards with seven of those autographed, perhaps his most memorable being his Topps Fan Favorites cards from 2003 and 2004.

Philadelphia Phillies icon Robin Roberts also died this week. He was 83. He won 20 games six consecutive years for the team and was its franchise leader for games pitched, complete games, innings, wins and strikeouts until Steve Carlton took the mound in Philly. Roberts appeared on 635 cards and 166 of those were signed. His Rookie Card appears in the 1949 Bowman set and sells for as much as $250.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an e-mail to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


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