Anniversary day: The David Wells perfect game against the Twins
- Blog Post by: Howard Sinker
- May 17, 2013 - 12:57 PM
In case you're looking for a way to kill the afternoon -- or an afternoon coming soon -- the fine people at MLBClassic have posted the complete replay of David Wells' perfect game against the Twins from May 17, 1998.
It had been an ugly season for Wells coming into that game, and the history-maker was part of a major turnaround -- the first season in a three-year stretch in which the left-hander went 55-22 with a 4.16 ERA for the Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays. After one bad season with the White Sox, he returned to New York and won 34 games combined in 2001 and 2002.
In his book, "Perfect, I'm Not," Wells wrote: "As of this writing, 15 men in the history of organized 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 later recanted that claim -- after being fined $100,000 by the Yankees, saying that he "intended to write the book in the spirit of fun" and that some people didn't take it that way.
Maybe more interesting for Twins fans is the collection of players that manager Tom Kelly used that day. Ron Coomer was at first base and Paul Molitor was the DH. On the other end of the notoriety spectrum, the Twins' third baseman that day was Jon Shave, who hadn't played in the majors for five years. Javier Valentin was catching and Alex Ochoa was in right field.
On the bench was the Twins' best hitter at the time, Todd Walker, and on the disabled list was the later-to-be Boston star David Ortiz. Catcher Terry Steinbach, now the Twins' bench coach, also got the day off.
Click here for the boxscore.
Grab some popcorn, turn off your phone and watch as much as you have time for. (There's a Billy Crystal cameo at about the 22-minute mark.)
© 2013 Star Tribune