SI.com Fantasy Minors College Baseball Baseball

Boomer bombshell

Wells said he threw perfect game while 'half drunk'

Posted: Thursday February 27, 2003 12:21 PM

NEW YORK (AP) -- David Wells was "half-drunk" when he pitched a perfect game for the New York Yankees in 1998.

In an upcoming autobiography, the New York Yankees pitcher recounts getting drunk at a Saturday Night Live cast party that ended in the early hours of the day he pitched against Minnesota.

"As of this writing, 15 men in the history of organized baseball have ever thrown a perfect game," he writes in galleys of the book. "Only one of those men did it half-drunk, with bloodshot eyes, monster breath and a raging, skull-rattling hangover. That would be me."

The book, Perfect I'm Not! Boomer on Beer, Brawls, Backaches and Baseball, will be published April 1 by William Morrow, a subsidiary of News Corp.

Wells told the New York Post, another News Corp. company, that he had three hours of sleep that morning, but in the book he writes about his son waking him at 6 a.m., an hour after he went to bed drunk.

The book comes at a time when Yankees owner George Steinbrenner has criticized Derek Jeter, contending the star shortstop's nightlife habits and "other activities" have detracted from his play.

The disclosure by Wells recalls the no-hitter thrown by Pittsburgh's Dock Ellis against San Diego in 1970. Ellis said he was on LSD that day. Ellis later entered drug rehab and became a counselor for recovering addicts.

Wells said that before he took the mound against the Twins, he fortified himself with caffeine and aspirin. He said he struggled through a bullpen session and was so disgusted he heaved a ball into the bleachers.

Pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre told the Post he had no idea of Wells' condition.

The revelation about the perfect game comes after a season in which Wells was involved in a fight in a New York diner. The man who punched the pitcher and knocked out two of his teeth was sentenced to 45 days in jail.

More recently, Wells said he occasionally used an over-the-counter supplement containing ephedra, the substance that a medical examiner linked to the heatstroke death of Baltimore Orioles prospect Steve Bechler.

Wells was using a product with ephedra while with the Orioles in 1996. He was hospitalized for an irregular heartbeat during spring training that year.

Wells was not the first Yankees star to have a memorable game with a hangover. In 1963, when Mickey Mantle returned to the lineup after weeks off because of a broken foot, he was called to pinch hit after a night of partying. Mantle said he saw three balls coming at him, swung at the middle one and hit a home run.


 
Related information
Stories
Man who punched Wells gets 45 days in jail
Wells: Trust me, Jeter no party animal
Torre at ease after talk with Wells about ephedra use
Multimedia
Visit Video Plus for the latest audio and video

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

 


 
CNNSI