Twenty-seven batters up, 27 batters down. That, my friends, is baseball's perfect game. Taking the no-hitter to the ultimate height is one of the rarest accomplishments in sports. In fact, since 1880 there have been only 19 perfect games in major league baseball. Oakland A's starting pitcher (and Alex Rodriguez's best friend) Dallas Braden is the most recent perfect ball-thrower. Strangely enough, Braden's only No. 2 in annual salary for 2010 perfect-game pitchers. (Braden will make $420,000 this year.) So if a pro ballplayer is No. 2, who's No. 1?
Um ... that would be this guy Wade McGilberry, 24, of Mobile, Ala. See, he pocketed a cool million for pitching the first-ever documented perfect game in 2K Sports recent MLB 2k10. Though the unprecedented million-dollar challenge, put on by 2K Sports, to pitch a perfect game ran from March 2 to May 1 this year, McGilberry nailed perfection on the first day, filming himself during the entirety of the game to ensure fair play. Not bad for a feat that was previously thought unreachable.
Metro Times: First things first, what team and starting pitcher?
Wade McGilberry: I used the Atlanta Braves, and I used Kenshin Kawakami.
MT: A perfect game isn't a no-hitter; did you strike out the entire lineup? Or did your fielders save you a couple times?
McGilberry: No, actually I only got four or five strikeouts the entire time. Mainly it was just a whole bunch of ground-ball outs.
MT: That's crazy, because I gave it a shot, and I got to fourth inning, and I just got lit up. Still, when real pitchers are in the midst of a perfect game, they get into a zone, and, sure, it's a video game, but it had to be stressful.
McGilberry: Oh yeah, it was. There were some very clutch moments. Near the end, there were a few fly balls that my outfielders just barely got to. There was one that got to the warning track that scared me; there was a lot of stuff going on.
MT: Do you have a job? Family?
McGilberry: Well, me and my wife Katie just got married last year. I graduated two years ago, and I'm a reconciliation specialist for a 401K record-keeping company. Katie and I both have accounting degrees from University of South Alabama, and she works at a CPA firm.
MT: So this is a nice little setup for the future. So what was the look on your family's face when you told them you won a million dollars because you kicked ass at a video game?
McGilberry: They were shocked. My parents couldn't believe it, and they're still in shock now. As much as it is for us, I'm still having a hard time believing it. And I'm in New York City; looking around, it's just crazy — and all going by so fast.
MT: I bet. One day you're playing a video game and then, here you are: a millionaire. What's next?
McGilberry: Well the first thing is, we're going to be paying off the mortgage on our house. That was No. 1 on our list. We wanted to start a family, once we got our finances in order, so now we can actually work on having some kids.
MT: So you guys are going to keep your jobs then?
McGilberry: Right, I don't think it's going to change us, you know, we'll have our house paid off, and we'll be more financially set. I don't think it's really going to change us.
MT: So anyone come out and hit you up for money yet?
McGilberry: No one yet, but I did have another reporter ask for $10.
MT: Really, so I guess giving me $20 is out of the question huh?
McGilberry: [laughs nervously]Bryant Franks is red-eyed man-boy of the new frontier. Send comments to