Dallas Braden & Barry Zito unite for military families

Oakland Athletics' pitcher Dallas Braden and San Francisco Giants' pitcher Barry Zito are left handed hurlers for Bay Area baseball teams.  Aside from that, the two have pretty much nothing in common.

Braden, who tossed a perfect game on Mother's Day, defiantly represents his less than fairy tale upbringing in Stockton, California.  The proud son of the “209” carries a gritty, determined toughness to the ballpark each and every day.  Through personal tragedy and a very apparent underdog mentality, Braden has grown into a hardnosed big league pitcher.  Despite his 18-23 career record, Braden is someone who demands respect at all times, just ask Alex Rodriguez.

On the contrary, Barry Zito can be described as a legitimate softy.  The San Diego native is the son of professional musicians and the nephew of television actor Patrick Duffy.  Zito is famous for packing pink satin pillows during road trips, practicing yoga and collecting stuffed animals.  While being a top pitcher of his generation, Zito in no way represents a sense of hardnosed toughness. 

In spite of these differences, Braden and Zito share a similar admiration for the men and women of the United States Military.  This reverence was evident last December, during Zito's third annual “Strikeouts for Troops Holiday Celebrity Bash.” A benefit designed to assist the families of soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The below video shows the two men performing “Summer Nights” with a Bay Area baseball fan.  The setting was the Hyatt at Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. Braden joins the festivities 1:20 into the clip.

Photograph Source: AP/George Nikitin