Hangover History: David Wells Perfect Game

May 11, 2013

There have been 18 perfect games thrown in baseball since 1900, and only one was reportedly thrown by a man with a “raging, skull rattling hangover.”

A perfect game in baseball is when the pitcher and team retire all 27 batters of the opposing team in order. Every single batter gets out and nobody gets on base. It’s exceedingly rare, and out of the approximately 350,000 games played, only 0.005% of the time did this happen.

So when former New York Yankee David Wells wrote in his autobiography that he was half-drunk with monster breath, people were a bit surprised. But not too surprised. Wells already had the goofy-ass nickname “Boomer”, was fined for buying Babe Ruth’s hat at auction and wearing it on the field, and had the rotund body that one could only get away with in baseball.

As summarized by Sports Illustrated, Wells recounts how he was out way late at an SNL cast party, with barely an hour of sleep before his son woke him up at 6am. Wells did about the only thing that he could, which is to take some aspirin and caffeinate. He says he had an awful warmup before going out onto the field.

Naturally, some of the other players who were asked to comment were skeptical. Perfect games are so rare and so difficult to achieve that to finish one “half-drunk” sounds unbelievable. Needless to say, being hungover is never an ideal condition when playing sports, or anything else for that matter. But it is a pretty funny story.

And, as a special added bonus, here is an animated interview with Doc Ellis, who claimed to throw a no-hitter (where no opposing batter gets a hit) while on LSD in 1970.