We first caught wind of Wade's heroics back in the Fall of 2007 while sitting at a pub in Somerville, Mass with a Boston sports junkie who so happened to be a good friend. You know the kind: has money on every game of the week and possesses encyclopedic knowledge of esoteric Celtics facts. So, we're sitting at the bar, or maybe we were at his duplex apartment down the street watching his prized Larry Legend DVD.
Either way, we're sitting there, enjoying a few Boggs's when (yes, from thenceforth we started referring to beers as Boggs's - this lasted about a year) he regales us the urban legend of urban legends, that former MLB Third Baseman Wade Boggs, of Boston Red Sox, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, and Major League Baseball Hall of Fame fame, drank 60 beers on a cross country flight.
If it sounds like a beer-drinking feat that only Andre the Giant could execute, well, you're right, only Andre the Giant can drink 100+ beers over the course of a day.
Anyway, the story ... jaws dropped at the beginning of the story and remained in position throughout. Not only is Wade Boggs one of MLB's best hitters of all-time, and, a World Series winner as well, but, he's apparently one of the game's best drinkers too. Maybe even the world. Who knows.
Here's his retelling of the tale, nearly word for word, all these years later.
"Hey, you fellas ever hear the time Wade Boggs drank 60 beers on a cross country flight?
Nah, I'm not kidding' you. It's just incredible. Get this, Ol' Wade finishes up a ballgame and starts drinkin' right there at his locker in the club house. Game's hardly over and Boggs just drowned a sixer and is picking up steam. I mean, this story is incredible. INCREDIBLE.
Boggs then sinks a few Millah Lites while he's getting into his travel clothes. Bangs down a few more on the way to the bus. Cranks down a few more on the way to Logan. They get to Logan and get on the plane. Mind you, the drive to Logan from Fenway isn't that far, but nevertheless, half a case of beer already.
So, the Sox are on their way out West, Seattle, Los Angeles, Anahem, one of those cities and Boggs keeps rippin' beer after beer after beer. Apparently, 60 of them on the flight. Yeah kid, 60!
Anyway, the story was on some show. They even got some old teammates to come out and corroborate the story. So get this, they have Jeff Nelson on, you remember him, right? So they have Nelson on and they're like, "Hey, Nelly ... we hear that Boggs puts Miller Lites to sleep on cross country flights. Is that true?" and Jeff Nelson is like, "Oh yeah. Easy. On a West Coast trip, I'd say Boggs puts down like 50-60 beers."
And the hosts just can't believe it. Like, how the hell can someone drink 50 beers?
So back to Nelson, he's like, "Yeah guys, Boggs always had a beer with, Boggs was always drinking. Game over? Boggs had a beer. Back at the locker. More beer. Packing up. Beer. On the way to the bus. More beer. We'd have to stop halfway in-between coasts in somewhere like North Dakota to refuel and what not. And there Boggs is, drinking more beer. We'd finally touch down in Seattle and head off to the stadium and Boggs is still going strong. He'd have like 50 beers on the trip. And this happened often."
Alright, so this where it gets crazy. The hosts are like, "Nelly, can anyone corroborate this story?"
So Nelson calls up old teammate Paul Sorrento and asks him, "Paul, seriously, I need to know how many beers Wade used to drink on road trips ..."
And without skipping a beat, Sorrento's like, "Aww, gotta be 70."
70! It's just incredible! INCREDIBLE!"
Among urban legends, this was one was near the top. Luckily for Hall of Famer Wade Boggs, he gets additional help from ex-MLB pitcher, Brian Rose. The same Brian Rose who spent time on both the Red Sox and Devil Rays. The same Brian Rose who dropped this gem of a pull quote:
“I was sitting next to him on a plane and a flight attendant came by and gave him a case of beer,” said Rose. “He slid it under the seat and I was like, ‘What’s up with that? We only have an hour flight.’ He said, ‘That’s mine.’
“The whole flight, we were just shooting the shit, and he went one beer after the other. I said to him, ‘I’m impressed with the way you hit, but I’m more impressed right now.’ He goes, ‘Yeah, beer doesn’t affect me. I don’t get drunk unless I’ve had at least a case and a half.’ I don’t think he even went to the bathroom.”
Outstanding! A case and a half!
Some reporter from TMZ catches Boggs in what looks to be NYC and gets him to openly admit he's powered through 100+ ice cold cruisers in a calendar day. Magnificent.
Turns out, Charlie Day, Glenn Howerton and the cast of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia wrote an entire script around the gang trying to out gun Boggs' beer drinking prowess, on a flight no less. Over a decade after the Nelson and Sorrento call, the first episode of It's Always Sunny's tenth season features a cameo by none less than Wade Boggs himself. To quote Dennis & Frank, "No one can drink that much." / "Not with an attitude like that."
Here's Charlie Day appearing on The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon to talk about Boggs' beer swilling tendencies.
Setting aside our Andre the Giant comment prior, apparently NFL Defensive End, former of the New England Patriots, now of the Chicago Bears, could also store cold beers in a hollow leg. He's rumored to have put down 40 beers during a viewing of Monday Night Football. It's heroic, but Boggs-ian it is not.
Here's Hicks's quote from his time at the University of Regina:
“Fifty cent wing night with the boys. We had an all day Owl. The Owl was the campus bar. We would go there at noon. And we would drink until there was one guy left. The guy who lasted the longest won ... One day I drank 40 beers ... I’ve never drank that many beers in my life."
It's an awesome story, one we'll never forget. Perhaps if you stroll into the same pub in Somerville, you'll hear the echoes of 14 year old laugther from the first time we heard that story. We'd say glorious was the laughter, but the glory belongs entirely to Wade Boggs.
Wade Boggs was a Hall of Fame Third Baseman who played Major League Baseball from 1982-1999. He was a perennial all-star who sported a .328 lifetime hitter to go along with 3,010 hits. While 3,000 hits is a virtual lock to be elected to MLB's Hall of Fame, a .300+ average over 17 seasons probably would have sealed the deal as well.
Complementing his playing stats were Hall of Fame level superstitions including not having his number announced eating chicken before every game, and, a first rate mustache.
Candied Bacon would have been a lot cooler than chicken, that's for sure.
Wade Boggs played for the Boston Red Sox, from 1982-1992, for which he is primarily known. The New York Yankees, from 1993-1997, as the team Wade won his only World Series with, before proceeding to ride around Yankee Stadium on a horse to celebrate. And, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (as they were known at the time), from 1998-1999, his local hometown team.
Miller Lite was the brand of beer that Wade Boggs drank. Coincidentally, Miller Lites are now referred to as Boggs's around Bacon Sports Beer.
That's probably because Puppers Beer wasn't available at the time.
The Wade Boggs beer record is the amount of beers Wade was rumored to have consumed on a cross-country flight while playing in Major League Baseball. Ex-teammate Jeff Nelson said 50-60 beers. Paul Sorrento said 70. Wade Boggs himself claims 107 beers is the record.