BOOMER’S BOOK: DOCK ELLIS AIN’T GOT NUTHIN ON ME
According to his forthcoming book, “Perfect I’m Not. Boomer on Beer, Brawls, Backaches and Baseball,” (to be published by William Morrow on April Fool’s Day), David Wells pitched his perfect game with a wicked hangover.
The New York Post reports:
Wells writes that he was still drunk from the night before when he mastered the Twins on a brilliant Bronx Sunday.
“As of this writing, 15 men in the history of baseball have ever thrown a perfect game. Only one of those men did it half-drunk, with bloodshot eyes, monster breath and a raging, skull-rattling hangover. That would be me,” Wells wrote. “Never in the history of professional sports has a feat so difficult been accomplished by an athlete so thoroughly shot.”
Five years later, an older Wells remembers and laughs.
“I don’t recommend doing that. It’s not healthy,” Wells said yesterday of attempting to get big league hitters out while hung over. “It was a phase of my life when I was a party animal. Back then I went out all the time. I could do no wrong that year. I was in a zone all year.”
…Joe Torre said he saw no signs that Wells was walking on the proverbial waterbed that day.
“That stuff has been going on forever,” Torre said of pitchers working after staying out late. “Don Larsen [another perfect-gamer] did it. You certainly hope your pitcher takes care of himself the day before he pitches, but . . .”
That should sell some books, huh?
Boomer’s revelation brings Doc Ellis to mind. Ellis, who once wore haircurlers during a game, and who called George Steinbrenner’s pep-talks “high school Charley shit,” pitched a no-hitter for the Pirates the morning after he had tripped on LSD. The episode is recounted in Ellis’ biography, “In the Country of Baseball,” co-written with Donald Hall. Suffice it to say, Boomer Wells isn’t the first nut job to perform well while still loaded.