In his upcoming autobiography, New York Yankees pitcher David Wells tells readers that he was "half-drunk" when he threw a perfect game in 1998. The perfect game, a very rare event in Major League Baseball, was the first by a Yankees pitcher since Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series.
In his book Perfect I'm Not! Boomer on Beer, Brawls, Backaches and Baseball due out April 1, 2003, Wells admits his guilt: "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." (Source: AP news article cited below)
According to the book and an Associated Press report on it, Wells wrote that he only got an hour of sleep before waking at 6:00 AM on game day. Previous press reports suggested that he had three hours of sleep. Earlier, he spent much of his early morning hours at a cast party for Saturday Night Live, getting heavily intoxicated.
Before the much-publicized perfect game, Wells was inconsistent in his warm-ups. He had bad control and even threw a ball into the stands in disgust. However, by the first pitch, he had "fortified himself with caffeine and aspirin," and gained the composure to do what few men in baseball history have ever accomplished.
Wells is one of a few baseball players to perform well under the influence of controlled substances. In 1970, Dock Ellis famously pitched a no-hitter under the influence of LSD -- Wells recalled this event as he reminisced in his autobiography. According to the AP, Mickey Mantle was called up to pinch hit in 1963 while experiencing a hangover; he claimed to have seen three balls coming at him. He swung at the middle one and hit a home run.
Update 03/03/2003: David Wells now regrets his quote about pitching a perfect game "half-drunk," and claims that co-author Chris Kreski took comments out of context. Wells claims that while he had been at a party late the night before, he was not still drunk while he was pitching. He also claims that the aspirin he took was for a headache unrelated to drinking. Source: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sports/134644297_base02.html