Eleven Years Later, The Disappointment Is A Little Different

After a third consecutive walk-off loss to the New York Yankees on Sunday, Minnesota Twins fans are probably thinking it can’t get any worse.

Eleven years ago to the day, it was.

David Wells tossed a perfect game for the Yankees against the Twins on a Sunday afternoon in 1998 at Yankee Stadium. Since then, he has claimed to have been suffering from a hangover during the game.

It doesn’t get much worse than that, does it?

Perfect games don’t happen all that often, with only 17 major league ones on record. I’ve seen two of those – Wells’ game and Randy Johnson‘s against Atlanta in 2004 – on TV. And while at the time Wells’ game hurt, as the years go by you definitely gain an appreciation for the feat.

Here’s a link to the Twins-Yankees box score from May 17, 1998.

A few random thoughts:

  • The Twins were not a good team, finishing the year at 70-92. Yet sadly, from 1994-2000, that was the team’s second-highest win total.
  • The Twins lineup definitely leaves you shaking your head. Brent Gates batting second with a .123 AVG. Jon Shave – who had all of 160 ABs in his major league career – playing third base and seventh. Alex Ochoa, Javier Valentin, Pat Meares, oh my.
  • Speaking of Meares, the image of him hitting the pop fly to right field for the final out is forever etched in my memory.
  • LaTroy Hawkins, who has gone on to find success as a reliever, was the Twins’ starting pitcher. And he really didn’t pitch too bad, giving up four runs on six hits in seven innings. Back in those days, you’d take that any time from a Twins starter, even if more often than not it wouldn’t be enough with their paltry offensive output.
  • And finally, Dan Naulty would come in to relieve Hawkins and record an out. Naulty pitched just 160 2/3 innings in his big league career, yet he found a little fame when his name popped up in the Mitchell Report. He publicly denounced what he did, becoming one of the first – if not THE first – athlete in the Mitchell Report to do so.

2 Responses

  1. lowercase jeff

    Heh, I saw that perfect game replayed on the YES Network while I was in Philadelphia last year. Good lord, was that Twins lineup a joke.

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