This is the ninth in a series of examinations of baseball-related legends and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of all the previous baseball legends.
BASEBALL LEGEND: Wade Boggs once drank 64 cans of Miller Light on a cross-country flight (in the alternative, Wade Boggs drank over 50 cans of Miller Light).
STATUS: I’m Going With False
Wade Boggs was one of the best third baseman in Major League Baseball history and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.
Boggs also happened to be quite a drinker.
Boggs played for the New York Yankees for a number of years (even winning the World Series with the Yankees in 1996)…
While there he played with pitcher Jeff Nelson for a couple of seasons…
Nelson was on a radio show in 2004 when he made some interesting claims about Boggs’ drinking habits…
Nelson: Oh, I’d say, on a typical road trip, east coast to west coast, say a road game to Seattle……Wade would drink anywhere between 50 and 60 beers.
Show’s Host: NO WAY!! 50 or 60 beers. That is impossible.
Nelson: No, I know…I know how crazy that sounds, and I wouldn’t believe it myself unless I saw him do it…..numerous times. And he drank nothing but Miller Lite.
Host: How in the hell did he have time to drink that many beers. For God’s sake, how many times did he have to go to the bathroom?
Nelson: I’m not kidding you Steve. Seriously. Wade was the kind of guy who was always the first one at the club house. So he’d get to the clubhouse, and he’d bring a six pack with him. He’d be there drinking a beer when someone showed up, and as we were all packing our stuff up out of our lockers and getting our bags ready for the trip, Wade would sit there and drink that whole six pack.
Now, at the time, we were flying out of New Jersey, so it was somewhat of a drive from Yankee stadium to the airport in New Jersey. Wade would drink another couple of beers on the bus to the airport. At the time, we were flying this older airplane, it couldn’t make it across the country without refueling, and it wasn’t the fastest airplane in the sky. So we would stop in North Dakota or something. Wade would drink about a half rack between New Jersey and North Dakota, and it would take about a half-hour to an hour to refuel once we got there, so he’d have a few more beers while we were grounded in North Dakota.
Once we got back up in the air, Wade would drink another 10, 11, 12 beers on the way out to the west coast. The whole flight from coast to coast ususally took us well over 7 hours. We’d touch down at Sea-Tac, hop on the bus headed to the Kingdome, and Wade would have another beer or two on the bus. Then, all of us would get to the Kingdome and unpack our bags and sit around and BS with eachother, and Wade would have a beer in his hand the entire time. He was always one of the last people to leave the club house too. So I’d say that all in all, he drank over 50 beers on the trip, and this wasn’t just an isolated incident, he did that almost every time.
Boggs finished his career on the Tampa Bay Devil Rays…
and while there, he played with Paul Sorrento…
who also had played with Nelson in Seattle.
So Nelson called up Sorrento to verify his tale…
Nelson: Yeah, alright Paul, I need you to answer one question for me, truthfully now….How many beers would Wade Boggs drink on an east coast to west coast road trip?
Sorrento: Oh, jeez, (exhaling like a flat tire) I don’t know, like 70.
Boggs was asked about the story soon after his election in 2005, and he denied it. He admitted that he would drink a lot of beers, but not nearly that many.
Just doing some math – Boggs’ playing weight was 197 pounds, cans of Miller Lite are 12 ounces and contain 4.2% alcohol. The story is supposedly that it happened over a 10 hour period.
So in that case, 50 cans of Miller Lite over 10 hours would result in a Blood Alcohol Content of over 0.80!!!
0.08 is basically drunk, so that would be TEN TIMES that – that’s basically near alcohol poisoning. There has only been one recorded case of someone ever having a Blood Alcohol Content over 0.80 (that I’ve seen, at least), and that guy had to go to the hospital.
So I think it’s safe to say that Wade Boggs did not drink 50 Miller Lights on a cross country trip, but I’ll certainly allow that he likely drank an ungodly amount of beer.
Thanks to Tasty Booze for the transcript!
BASEBALL LEGEND: The Atlanta Braves had a night celebrating a gay group.
STATUS: Essentially True
In August of 2001, before a game against the Houston Astros, the Atlanta Braves celebrated The Atlanta Games Inc. Night. The Atlanta Games Inc. was a group designed to attempt to draw the Gay Games to Atlanta for the 2006 Gay Games (which did not work, as Chicago got the Games that year).
The Atlanta Gay Men’s Chorus sang the national anthem.
And, as you might imagine, certain groups of people were quite distraught at this turn of events.
However, while it is true that the Braves DID have The Atlanta Games Inc. Night, those apoplectic fans failed to realize that it was simply a matter of the Atlanta Games Inc. taking advantage of a Braves’ promotional offer.
If you purchased over 300 tickets to a Braves game, you automatically got the right to have a “night” dedicated to your organization, whatever it is (I presume the Braves have some discretion, though, to preclude say, a Skinhead organization buying 300 tickets), and AGI bought a lot more tickets than that.
Part of the deal is that you also get to provide singers for the national anthem, if you so choose.
As the Braves said at the time to complaints, the night before was Lutheran Brotherhood Night, so it clearly was just a “whoever buys the tickets gets a night” deal.
However, the Braves did make news five years later when they began doing a series of promotions called “Faith Night.” These nights, celebrating various religions, at first included James Dobson’s Focus on the Family Christian group, which is more than a little bit anti-gay.
After complaints from gay groups, the Braves banned Focus on the Family from future “Faith Night” promotions.
Okay, that’s it for this week!
Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org