David Wells Threw a Perfect Game After Partying All Night with Jimmy Fallon

Wells was up drinking with Fallon and Seth Meyers until 5:30 a.m.
David Wells Threw a Perfect Game After Partying All Night with Jimmy Fallon

Chalk one up for the comedy nerds. Former baseball pro David Wells, who considers Saturday Night Live “the greatest show ever,” threw the best game of his career after staying up all night partying with the cast. Who knew Jimmy Fallon was such a good-luck charm?

“It was stupid,” Wells told Rich Eisen about his bizarro 24 hours in 1998, “but it was a memorable one, I guess.” Wells was a frequent SNL audience member during his Yankees days and claims he went to the show on a fateful Saturday night, though when he retold the story in 2022, he couldn’t remember who hosted. Eisen did the homework — it was Buck Henry with musical guest Semisonic. “If I didn’t drink that night, I probably would have remembered.” 

Here’s what Wells does remember: “All I know is it was like 5:30 in the morning, and Jimmy Fallon and I were like, ‘Who's leaving first?’ And then I got in the car, and I got home and passed out.” For all you Little Leaguers out there, if you must drink until 5:30 a.m. with Jimmy Fallon, please don’t get behind the wheel. 

Unfortunately for Wells, Sunday was a day game — and he was the scheduled starting pitcher. That meant only a couple hours of sleep for Wells, who showed up to the locker room in sorry shape. David Cone’s locker was right next to Wells, and the stench gave him away. “(Cone) goes, ‘Wow! You stink, you better go hide.’” 

According to Wells, Fallon regained consciousness around game time and turned on his TV. “He thought it was a rerun,” laughed the Yankee pitcher. “He started calling some of the guys on the show, and he's like, ‘You’re not going to believe this, but Wells is out there pitching.”

Fallon’s castmates assured him that the game was live. So was Wells’ fastball, as the hungover pitcher allowed zero hits, zero runs, zero walks and zero errors against the Minnesota Twins. “How about that?” Wells chuckled. “Blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while.”

Maybe the no-hitter was one reason Wells valued drinking with SNL cast members so much. Fallon and Seth Meyers reminisced about the escapades years later on The Tonight Show. “When you went out and drank with David Wells, he would tell you all the secrets of baseball,” said Meyers. “It felt like he was giving you all the mysteries of the sport. And yet with each mystery, he’d also make you do you a shot. And so the next morning, you’d wake up, and it was all gone. You couldn’t remember any of it.”


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