A hangover is, quite frankly, one of the worst experiences in the world. We all know what it entails and how much worse the effects of it are as you get older.
Which is what makes former Major League Baseball pitcher David Wells a legend. Wednesday was the 19-year anniversary of Wells throwing a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins when he was hungover as fuck. Rob Neyer of Complex did a fantastic oral history on the game.
Wells, pitching for the Yankees at the time, was well known for his partying habits. Playing in New York only enhanced his proclivity to have a good time. As the story goes, Wells was at Saturday Night Live May 16, 1998, a place he frequented during his time in New York. After the show he was asked by SNL producer Marci Klein to attend the show’s after-party. Wells, not one to turn down a good time, was reluctant at first because he had to pitch the next day.
According to Wells, Klein pulled the oldest trick in the book to turn that no into a yes.
“I was leaving the SNL show the night before, and Marci Klein’s like, “Hey, why don’t you come to the after-party?” And I said, “Not this time. I’m pitching tomorrow.” And she goes, “You have to come. You know, Dennis Rodman came once, and the next day was one of the best games of his career, 23 or 25 rebounds or something.” I can’t say she called me a pussy, but I can’t say she didn’t. So I went, and I look around and there’s Jimmy Fallon and Will Forte and probably Fred Armisen, and one thing just led to another.”
As you’ll discover in the oral history, Klein is a legend in her own right.
So Wells joined the after party, boozed deep into the night and claims he didn’t get back to his place until 5:30 a.m. He said he got two-and-half hours of sleep. So he showed up to Yankee Stadium, a few hours before he’s scheduled to start a big-league game, almost certainly still intoxicated and on the brink of an epic hangover. It’s also important to note that Wells is 35. At my age, hangovers are already 100 times worse than they were at 21. I can’t imagine how bad they are at 35.
But, Wells did what any seasoned partier who also has real-world responsibilities does: he hydrated, pounded a couple cups of coffee and manned the fuck up.
“I had a job to do, so I went out there and did it. I was the one who put myself in that predicament.”
Exacerbating the situation was the fact it was Beanie Baby Day at the ballpark, so there were likely tons of screaming kids mixed into the 60,000 or so people who were at the ballpark. The two things you don’t want to be near when you’re hungover is sunlight or people. Those were tenfold that day for Wells. This was a recipe for disaster.
Instead, Wells threw a fucking perfect game. The only one of his career. While he was incredibly hungover. Amazing.
So when you’re laying on the couch this weekend after too many Smirnoff Ices feeling sorry for yourself, remember Wells’ exploits 19 years ago and be inspired..
Image via Youtube