Remembering When David Wells Threw a Perfect Game On This Day in 1998

Jason Schandl
Remembering David Wells' perfect game on May 17, 1998.
Remembering David Wells' perfect game on May 17, 1998. / MATT CAMPBELL/Getty Images

The New York Yankees have one of the richest histories in all of pro sports, with some absolute all-time performances scattered through their record books and plenty more sure to come.

Even the Yankees, though, have seen just three perfect games thrown in the history of the franchise. One of the three came on May 17, 1998 when David Wells achieved the feat against the Minnesota Twins.

When Wells threw this perfect game, the last Yankee to do so had been Don Larsen, on October 8, 1956. Wells was just the 13th pitcher in MLB history to turn in a perfect game, and it had been nearly four years since the last one (July 28, 1994 from Texas Rangers lefty Kenny Rogers).

Wells' stat line was particularly interesting, because at the time, the 120 pitches he threw were the most ever in a perfect game. Only one pitcher (Matt Cain with 125 pitches in 2012) has thrown more. That speaks volumes about Wells' endurance, as does the fact that Wells has since admitted to dealing with a "skull-rattling hangover" during this outing.

Despite that, Wells tossed 11 strikeouts on the night, and the Yanks offense gave him 4 runs of support on the other side, highlighted by a Bernie Williams home run.

The 1998 season was a big one for Wells overall. His 19.2 percent strikeout rate was his best since the 1989 season, and he posted a solid 3.49 ERA as well. He played a pivotal role in the Yankees' rotation, winning the ALCS MVP award, and he got the win in Game 1 of the team's four-game sweep of the San Diego Padres in the World Series.

The latter part of Wells' career had its ups (a 3.75 ERA in 31 games with the Yanks in 2002) and downs (a 5.43 ERA in his final pro season in 2007), but a perfect game is an achievement that will always make his name stand out in the all-time record books.

It will also keep his name dear to Yankees fans for years to come.

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Jason Schandl is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Jason Schandl also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username Jaymun. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.