Eveland a bit emotional over perfect Braden
Ex-teammate of A's hurler recalls meeting famous grandma
BOSTON -- Dana Eveland and Dallas Braden struck an immediate friendship during their time together with the A's. Now a member of the Blue Jays, Eveland admitted that he fought back some tears as he watched Braden put the finishing touches on his perfect game against the Rays on Sunday.
"I got to see the last couple innings," Eveland said on Monday at Fenway Park. "I got a little choked up last night after that last out when his grandma came out on the field."
Eveland, who was acquired by Toronto over the offseason, was traded to Oakland in 2007, and Braden was the first player he met from the A's organization. Both California kids -- Eveland from Palmdale and Braden from Stockton -- the pair of left-handed pitchers got along right from the start.
Eveland even got to know Braden's now-famous grandmother, Peggy Lindsey.
"I used to go to Stockton after games occasionally, and we'd hang out with his grandma," Eveland said. "So it was pretty cool to see all of that yesterday. It was nuts. That was pretty cool."
After completing the perfect game on Mother's Day, Braden and his grandmother shared a long hug. Braden's mother, Jodie Atwood, died of cancer when he was in high school, leaving Lindsey to help care for the young pitcher.
"His grandma raised him basically," Eveland said. "Even when his mom was around, he spent a lot of time with his grandma. They were always really, really close, so that was really cool. I'm really happy for him."
Lindsey made headlines of her own when reporters asked her about the incident earlier this season involving Braden and Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod ran across the mound during one of Braden's starts, leading to some heated words between the players.
Braden's grandmother said, "Stick it, A-Rod," when the issue came up again. Eveland laughed when asked about Lindsey's response and said it did not surprise him one bit.
"Nope," Eveland said with a smile. "He gets it from her -- his attitude. He gets it right from her."
Eveland sent Braden a few texts after the perfect game, but has yet to speak with his good friend.
"I texted him last night to say, 'Congratulations,'" Eveland said. "Then I sent him another one this morning saying, 'Are you alive?' Because I figured last night was probably a pretty good party in Stockton. He's alive. I saw him on TV this morning."
All the national attention did get Eveland thinking about his own chances of flirting with history.
"I'm a little jealous, I'm not going to lie," Eveland said. "Especially when he's a guy who throws exactly like me."
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.