Stars That Make a Difference, David Wells of the New York Yankees

“My wife Nina, and I started the Perfect 33 Foundation about three years ago. We focus our efforts on helping our military veterans get the funding they need for medical treatments and other things that they just don’t get by other means. Being a retired professional athlete, I understand the importance of youth athletic programs in our communities. This is one area that many communities lack the funding for. I was blessed to have a pretty good career and have been able to utilize my network, celebrity friends and former teammates to host some events through our foundation where we can help in these areas and more.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing David Wells, an American former Major League Baseballpitcher. Wells was considered to be one of the game’s better left-handed pitchers, especially during his years with the New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays. He pitched the 15th perfect game in baseball history.

What is your “backstory”?

Just a kid from O.B. (Ocean Beach, CA) who grew up surfing, playing basketball and a bunch of other sports.

What would you advise a young athlete who wants to emulate your career?

Just to go all out… try to be the best at whatever sport it is you are playing. Be yourself and find your own identity and most of all, have some fun.

Is there a person that made a profound impact on your life?

Sparky Anderson, my manager with the Detroit Tigers.

Can you share a story?

Just the way that he embraced me as a player after being released by the Toronto Blue Jays. He mentored me on how to be a better guy off the field too. He took the time to sit with me and explain life and baseball which was very meaningful and helped me to put things in perspective after being released and thinking my career was over.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Are you working on any meaningful or exciting nonprofit projects?

My wife Nina, and I started the Perfect 33 Foundation about three years ago. We focus our efforts on helping our military veterans get the funding they need for medical treatments and other things that they just don’t get by other means. Being a retired professional athlete, I understand the importance of youth athletic programs in our communities. This is one area that many communities lack the funding for. I was blessed to have a pretty good career and have been able to utilize my network, celebrity friends and former teammates to host some events through our foundation where we can help in these areas and more. We have a huge event coming up on May 17th in New York in celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Perfect Game I pitched with the New York Yankees where we will be raising funds for The Perfect 33 Foundation and The Puerto Rico Relief Foundation that was founded by Jorge and Laura Posada. For those who would like to attend: www.perfect33foundation.org

The Perfect 33 Foundation will also be hosting its 4th Annual Golf Classic on October 28th and 29th in San Diego.

Wow! Can you tell me a story about a person who was impacted by your cause?

Yes, Nick Norris, former Navy Seal. Through my foundation, the Perfect 33 Foundation, we helped to pay for a medical treatment that was not covered by his insurance. After receiving treatment, he called me one day while I was hunting at my ranch and sitting in a tree. I took his call. He then thanked me for saving his life. Our foundation is dedicated to helping our military veterans and whatever their needs may be.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why? Please share a story or example for each.

No… I wouldn’t change a thing. I am where I am today because of exactly the way things went by my own experience. Everyone’s experiences are different.

I have been blessed that very prominent CEO’s and celebrities read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this. :-)

Yes, Clint Eastwood. It has always been on my bucket list to meet him. I am one of the biggest Clint Eastwood fans ever!