May 17, 1998: David Wells throws a perfect game for the Yankees

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After spending six seasons with the Blue Jays to start his career, David Wells had bounced from Detroit to Cincinnati to Baltimore from 1993 to 1996 before landing with the Yankees before the 1997 season.

He won 16 games, tying a career best, with the Yankees that season. But 1998 brought with it something unpredictable for the lefthander nicknamed "Boomer."

On May 17, 1998, three days before his 35th birthday, the beer-bellied Wells took the hill against the Twins at Yankee Stadium and retired all 27 batters to become just the second Yankee to throw a perfect game. The often controversial Wells later wrote in his autobiography, “Perfect, I’m Not,” that he was “half-drunk” during his gem.

New York Yankees pitcher David Wells pitches to
(Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS / JOHN DUNN)

New York Yankees pitcher David Wells pitches to Minnesota Twins batter Matt Lawton in the first inning en route to a perfect game, May 17, 1998 at Yankee Stadium.

New York Yankees pitcher pitcher David Wells delivers
(Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS / JOHN DUNN)

New York Yankees pitcher pitcher David Wells delivers a pitch to Minnesota Twins batter Marty Cordova during the eighth inning en route to pitching a perfect game on May 17, 1998 at Yankee Stadium. Wells struck out 11.

Pitcher David Wells of the New York Yankees
(Credit: Getty Images / David Seelig)

Pitcher David Wells of the New York Yankees against the Minnesota Twins at the Yankee Stadium on May 17, 1998.

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David Wells during a game against the Minnesota
(Credit: Getty Images / David Seelig)

David Wells during a game against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium on May 17, 1998.

New York Yankees pitcher David Wells pumps his
(Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS / JOHN DUNN)

New York Yankees pitcher David Wells pumps his fist in celebration after pitching a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins on Sunday, May 17, 1998 at Yankee Stadium. Wells threw 120 pitches in a 4-0 win.

New York Yankees pitcher David Wells jumps for
(Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS / JOHN DUNN)

New York Yankees pitcher David Wells jumps for joy to celebrate throwing a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins Sunday, May 17, 1998 at Yankee Stadium. Wells watches as Yankees rightfielder Paul O'Neill catches a fly ball hit by Pat Meares for the final out.

David Wells celebrates throwing the 13th perfect game
(Credit: Getty Images / David Seelig)

David Wells celebrates throwing the 13th perfect game in MLB history on May 17, 1998, at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins, 4-0.

David Wells celebrates throwing the 13th perfect game
(Credit: Getty Images / David Seelig)

David Wells celebrates throwing the 13th perfect game in MLB history with his Yankees teammates on May 17, 1998, at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins, 4-0.

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David Wells celebrates throwing the 13th perfect game
(Credit: Getty Images / David Seelig)

David Wells celebrates throwing the 13th perfect game in MLB history with his Yankees teammates on May 17, 1998, at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins, 4-0.

David Wells celebrates throwing the 13th perfect game
(Credit: Getty Images / David Seelig)

David Wells celebrates throwing the 13th perfect game in MLB history with his Yankees teammates on May 17, 1998, at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins, 4-0.

David Wells celebrates throwing the 13th perfect game
(Credit: Getty Images / David Seelig)

David Wells celebrates throwing the 13th perfect game in MLB history with his Yankees teammates on May 17, 1998, at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins, 4-0.

David Wells is carried off the field by
(Credit: Getty Images / David Seelig)

David Wells is carried off the field by his Yankees teammates after throwing a perfect game on May 17, 1998, at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins, 4-0.

New York Yankees pitcher David Wells is carried
(Credit: AP / Lou Requena)

New York Yankees pitcher David Wells is carried off the field by Bernie Williams, left, Willie Banks, second from left, and Darryl Strawberry, right, after pitching a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins on Sunday, May 17, 1998 at Yankee Stadium.

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New York Yankees pitcher David Wells pats teammate
(Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS / JOHN DUNN)

New York Yankees pitcher David Wells pats teammate Darryl Strawberry on the head as he is carried off the field after pitching a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins Sunday, May 17, 1998 at Yankee Stadium.

The scoreboard in Yankee Stadium displays a lot
(Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS / JOHN DUNN)

The scoreboard in Yankee Stadium displays a lot of zeroes after David Wells pitched a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins Sunday, May 17, 1998.

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