‘I Was a Wreck': When David Wells Pitched a Perfect Game Hungover
Despite a skull-crushing headache and reeking of booze, the New York Yankees' David Wells pitched a game for the ages.
On Wednesday, June 28th, Domingo Germán pitched the 24th perfect game in Major League Baseball history, becoming the first Yankee to do it since David Cone in 1999. Cone's '99 game was... well, perfect, but we need to go back one further to find the one that's even more legendary in Yankees lore. That game belongs to David Wells.
Picture this: a wild night of celebration and a hangover so intense it would make mere mortals crumble... but not our hero, David Wells. In a plot twist worthy of a Hollywood movie, Wells defied all odds and took the mound for a game that will go down in history.
Here's how Wells described it:
I went to the park, I was a wreck. I mean, I was a wreck. (David Cone) told me, he goes, you need to go to Monahan’s office to get away from everybody, you stink. So I just started chewing gum, drinking a lot of water and coffee, about ten trips to the bathroom. My stomach was boiling over pretty good... I knew if I had a short outing, I would’ve gotten in a lot of trouble. A lot of people knew I was pretty hammered.
Turns out, Wells had attended an episode of Saturday Night Live and had a little too much fun at the after party. But despite only getting a couple hours of sleep, Wells defied the limitations of his physical condition. The hefty lefty pitched 9 innings of scoreless, walk-less, error-less (perfect) ball against the Minnesota Twins, striking out 11 over 120 pitches. The Yankees won the game 4-0.
Casual fans had no idea Wells was schnockered the night before. And why would they? The performance they had just seen was something even the most dominant Hall of Fame pitchers never achieve.
The game was simply perfect.