David Lee Wells, the American former baseball pitcher, is a legend among sports fans for the perfect game he played under less-than-perfect conditions.
That’s right, as we’re sure most of you know, Boomer sported an epic hangover throughout his play and amazingly managed to pull through. But we’ll get into the nitty-gritty details of that later!
In the following sections, we’ll discover Wells’ early life, explore his hanging career highlight, and consider why he’s such a famous player (it won’t come as a surprise) before looking at a few of his baseball cards.
David Wells’ Player Stats and Background
- Birth Name: David Lee Wells
- Nickname: Boomer, Jumbo, or Dave
- Born On: 05/20/1963 (He’s a Taurus)
- Born In: Torrance, California
- Height: 6 ft 4 inches
- Weight: 225 lbs
- High School: Point Loma High School in San Diego, CA
- College: None attended
- Bats: Left
- Throws: Left
- First Game: 06/30/1987 (He was 24 at this time.)
- Last Game: 09/28/2007 (He was 44 at this time.)
- Draft: 1982 2nd Round (30th)
Early Life and Childhood
David Wells was born to unmarried parents in Torrance, California. He was raised by his mother and grew up believing his father, David Pritt, was dead. But at 22 years old, he discovered his dad was alive and found him to foster a new relationship.
While he never attended college, his time at Point Loma High School was filled with baseball (naturally) and basketball. He’d tell you himself that he was a “gym rat” who spent most of his days at the Ocean Beach Recreation Center.
In the end, Wells played 21 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for nine teams. However, he made his debut for the Toronto Blue Jays in 1987 as a reliever. He spent six seasons with them and gained his first championship ring in the 1992 World Series before being released on March 30, 1993.
Almost immediately after his release, he signed with Detroit Tigers on April 3rd and played with them from 1993 to 1995.
Ultimately, he went on to secure spots in seven other teams over the years, as per the following:
- Cincinnati Reds (1995)
- Baltimore Orioles (1996)
- New York Yankees (from 1992 to 1998)
- Toronto Blue Jays (He did another stint with them from 1999 to 2000.)
- Chicago White Sox (2001)
- New York Yankees (He did a second stint with them from 2002 to 2003.)
- San Diego Padres (2004)
- Boston Red Sox (from 2005 to 2006)
- San Diego Padres (He did another run with them from 2006 to 2007.)
- Los Angeles Dodgers (2007)
But enough of that. We know what you’re really here for!
David Wells and His Oh-So-Famous Perfect Game
Ah yes, May 17, 1998, marks a very special day for Mr. David Lee Wells. It was the day that he played a perfect game.
Except, he didn’t feel quite so perfect. In fact, he felt far from it.
Wells attended Saturday Night Live the night before, as he typically did. Despite the fact he went out with zero intentions of going to the after-party (after all, his son was visiting, and he had a matinee against the Twins the following day), intentions can change — and change they did! Who would say no to a night out with Jimmy Fallon and the guys?
It’s safe to say that this would be a night to remember, as a tipsy Wells strolled home at 5:30 am, topping the night (and morning) off with two hours of sleep.
And yes, he got up, still drunk, and drove to the park, more surprised than anyone that he didn’t get pulled over on the way!
As per an interview on The New York Post’s Pinstripe Pod, Wells said, “I was a wreck. I mean, I was a wreck.” He tried to wash the fug of the night away with coffee, water, gum, and a pancake but couldn’t quite get it together — even during the pregame bullpen session!
The game began, and he was still sporting the world’s biggest hangover. But as the fourth inning hit, the dreaded feeling wore off.
He hadn’t yet allowed a baserunner through, and this sparked superstition. Nobody would sit or talk to him until he ran the second wind all the way to absolute perfection!
From there? Oh, you best believe Wells and the team celebrated until the wee hours of the next morning.
David Wells’ Top Three Most Collected Baseball Cards
After getting a behind-the-scenes look at the famous hungover perfect game, it will come as no shock that he’s a well-collected and popular player in the baseball card world. His candid media representation, for-the-people attitude, humor, and, of course, extreme talent also play a role in his popularity.
So, let’s have a look at three of the most collected and valuable David Wells baseball cards out there.
#1 1988 Topps Traded Tiffany #128T
By far, this is the most expensive of his baseball cards. Boxed and in fantastic condition, he’s seen sporting his Blue Jays colors.
It’s a collector’s edition that is currently on the market for $224.50. But don’t worry; there are other bank-friendlier options if you want to own a David Wells without hurting your pockets.
#2 1988 Donruss The Rookies Rookie Card #26
Taking the second spot is this one. Why? Because it’s autographed!
Again, David Wells can be seen in the iconic Blue Jays colors. But on this card, his signature is undoubtedly the most impressive part.
#3 1991 Upper Deck David Wells #583 Baseball Card
While the standard card isn’t worth much, the Beckett Authentication autographed version is. Usually worth in the hundreds, you might be able to find it on sale and save yourself some much-needed cash if you’d like to add it to your collection.
David Wells Baseball Cards – The Bottom Line
There you have it! We’ve covered David Wells, his past, the famous perfect game, and his top baseball cards. He’s certainly one of our favorite players. Is he one of yours?
Interested in reading about other larger than life players? Then you might find this article about Rollie Fingers to be up your street too.