If you follow sports, and even if you don’t, you probably know that Dallas Braden threw a perfect game for the A’s on Sunday.
For some perspective: that was the 19th perfect game in the history of Major League Baseball. Given that your local team plays 162 games each season, and there are 30 teams in the league, and stats have been kept since the beginning of time (or at least the twentieth century), this is kind of a big deal.
Here’s the thing: a perfect game is not what you would expect from Dallas Braden. He has lost more games than he has won, and his ERA is about the same as the number of pounds I need to lose to fit into my swimsuit. That is, more than two.
Braden is more famous for getting into a smackdown with A-Rod than for his pitching chops, though I don’t really know anything about that because I don’ t follow celebrity gossip, which makes me unAmerican, I know. I accept that.
My point is: the perfect game can come from the unlikeliest source. In publishing, as in baseball, your success is only partially dependent on your own skills. You also have to be playing for the right team at the right time. A fair amount of luck is involved. You can work your ass off, do everything right, and still find yourself on the roster for the Omaha Royals at the age of 35.
All you can do is throw the best game you can, and hope your fielders back you up, and that your coach doesn’t pull you at the wrong time.
That’s it: you just throw the best game you can.
Although it helps if your grandma’s got your back.