The Perfect 33 Foundation Gives Back in Many Ways
Every parent believes their child is good enough to make it to the pros, despite the fact that there are hundreds of thousands of other athletes that are just so much better. Many will relocate to other cities to chase their dreams and spend countless hours traveling to be the next superstar. The weekends are reserved for practices, workouts and games so there is very little time to indulge in other activities or to spend time with friends, family or loved ones outside of the sport.
The kids become young players and create a social “sports” network, but athletes become a victim of long-term social consequences. In fact, other recreational and school activities take a backseat and then suddenly, all this comes to a halt. This is the day when reality reveals realization that even playing or going pro for a Division 1 team, is a pipe dream. Thus, there are endless young players and families left heartbroken and those long hours are exhausted beyond belief.
One thing is absolute that young athletes do vigorous workouts and also need to maintain good grades in school. Referring to a fact about David Wells who grew up in a San Diego neighborhood crime-ridden area with a mother who supported him and his siblings by working numerous jobs. Wells spent a lot of time in the gym, played basketball and baseball to occupy his time growing up.
Fortunately, Wells had the talent to set him apart from other young pitchers, which afforded him the opportunity to play for many Major League teams. Wells confirms, “It was a dream come true when I was called up to the Yankees because so many great players played in the House that Ruth Built.” Wells certainly made his mark in history in 1998 by pitching a perfect game and winning the World Series in the house of one of his favorite athletes to date, Babe Ruth.
BEING A RETIRED ATHLETE WHERE SPORTS KEPT ME OUT OF TROUBLE AS A KID, I KNOW FIRSTHAND THE IMPORTANCE OF YOUTH ATHLETICS.
Today, David and his wife Nina dedicate their time to their nonprofit, the Perfect 33 Foundation to help others. Wells states, “After meeting a former Navy SEAL and learning that there were certain medical treatments that were not covered by his insurance, we realized funds needed to be raised to help our veterans get their treatments. There are also needs by their families that aren’t always met. We wanted to help! We also wanted to help children by giving them a sports outlet and not to be left to the streets because they couldn’t afford it. Being a retired athlete where sports kept me out of trouble as a kid, I know firsthand the importance of youth athletics. I also know that many of our communities are under-funded in this area. We want to give kids the opportunity to have the chance of living a dream of becoming a professional athlete. Youth athletics just like the pros, includes discipline but also a lot of laughs, good stories and learning what it is like to play as a team and not to be selfish.”
On Thursday, May 17, the Wells hosted a star-studded celebration/fundraiser for the 20th Anniversary of the Perfect Game at Sony Hall in New York City. Wells said, “Both Nina and I are so grateful for this night. Our Perfect 33 Foundation partnered with the Puerto Rico Relief Foundation founded by Jorge and Laura Posada. A portion of the nights proceeds will benefit both charities. Many of Wells’ former teammates and friends attended such as Jorge Posada, David Cone, Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams, Willie Randolph, Ramiro Mendoza, Joe Torre and Judy Steinbrenner. Also, in attendance were SNL Producer, Lorne Michaels, The Tonight Show Host Jimmy Fallon and Comedians, Pete Davidson, Michael Che and Leslie Jones. Bernie Williams and his band played to a sold-out crowd.
It was a great way to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Perfect Game. It speaks to who Wells is as a person and not just one of the Yankee greats. “When you play together as a team and share the blood, sweat and tears that it takes to win a World Series, a bond is created forever. I’m so grateful for each and every one of my teammates that I played with that made my dreams come true.”
To learn more about the Wells’ organization: perfect33foundation.org.