When Wade Boggs first took to the field at Fenway Park in 1982, he launched one of the most successful careers in baseball history. By the time he retired in 1999, Boggs had racked up a total of over 3,000 hits, a .328 batting average, and an impressive on-base percentage — in his over 2,400 career games, Boggs reached first base in 85 percent of them. Further, Boggs was awarded the Gold Glove Award in 1994, becoming the oldest first-time winner among non-pitchers. He was awarded the Gold Glove for the second time the very next year and was formally inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2005, just six years after his career formally ended. Despite his immense success on the field, Wade Boggs is perhaps more widely recognized for his impressive — and we do mean impressive — drinking abilities.
As legend has it, Wade Boggs once drank 107 beers while embarking on a cross-country flight, which he consumed alone. The feat was allegedly accomplished over the course of a single afternoon during which the cross-country travel occurred, an achievement that certainly cannot be understated.
While the details are murky, the story goes that Boggs, immediately after finishing a game, began drinking in the Red Sox locker room before the team was set to head to Logan Airport for a flight to the West Coast. Boggs continued to drink before reaching the airport, during the first leg of the flight, over the course of the layover, again on the next leg of the flight, and then more that night when the team went out.
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As the details surrounding the flight itself are vague, the number of beers actually consumed by Boggs that day has been highly speculated with guesses ranging from 50 to 70. It wasn’t until 2015 when filming a cameo for the comedy series “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” that Boggs would confirm the true number: 107.
In the episode entitled “The Gang Beats Boggs,” the “Always Sunny” gang — Charlie, Mac, Dee, Dennis, and Frank — board a flight with the intention of beating Boggs’s record, which they believe to be 50 beers, and attempt to play a game of baseball the next day. “It’s Wade Boggs’s drinking record, OK?” says Charlie. “The man’s a legend. He drank 50 beers on a cross-country flight and then absolutely destroyed the Seattle Mariners the next day. That’s why we’re doing this — to honor his memory.”
“The number of beers is actually highly disputed,” Mac responds. “Some say 50; some teammates said 60. Some said as many as 70 beers.”
Boggs — who is featured in Charlie’s hallucination during the episode — cleared things up while on set, actor Charlie Day revealed during a guest appearance on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon. “He pulled me aside,” Day remembers, “and he said, ‘Charlie, really it was 107.’”
As one would suspect, his confirmation on the number of beers drunk during this legendary flight took many by surprise and led to questions surrounding the story’s plausibility. Turns out, Boggs made a habit of consuming earth-shattering amounts of beer on cross-country flights — which he considered boring — with other urban legends claiming that he once downed 64 Miller Lites on a plane.
Former teammate Brian Rose even once stated that he was impressed with Boggs’s hitting abilities, but more impressed with his drinking prowess. “I was sitting next to him on a plane and a flight attendant came by and gave him a case of beer. 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.’” Rose recalls that he didn’t even see Boggs go to the bathroom during their travels and certainly didn’t see him acting drunk. “Beer doesn’t affect me,” Rose remembers him saying. “I don’t get drunk unless I’ve had at least a case and a half.”
Whether or not Wade Boggs actually downed a whopping 107 beers that day is still up for debate, but many — including Frank from the “Always Sunny” gang — see it as completely plausible. “Nobody can drink that much,” Dennis comments. Frank’s response? “Not with an attitude like that.”