Wade Boggs | 30 Years Ago this Month
At the end of the ’84 season, did Debbie learn of you again?
Yes. When we were in Texas, I couldn’t find one of my very expensive slips. I thought I had left it in Kansas City. As it turned out, the maid had cleaned up the room, picked up all his clothes, and threw them on top of his luggage… Debbie found my slip when she unpacked his suitcase. He told her again it was just a one-night stand.
Before you, did Debbie find out about other women?
Back a couple of years ago, he said he had slept with a girl during spring training who gave him VD. I thought that was disgusting. Another time he had met a girl in the minor leagues, outside Detroit, saw her a couple of times, and got her pregnant. The girl called Wade’s home. She eventually had a miscarriage.
You were friends with Wade’s brother, Wayne, and his wife Carolyn. Did you ever discuss Wade’s marriage with them?
[Carolyn] said Debbie and Wade weren’t happy in their marriage, and how much happier Wade was with me, and how we got along so well.
I remember in 1984 we were out to dinner and we went to the bathroom, and she said, “You know, [Debbie’s] going to figure out what’s going on as soon as she gets home in the winter. And if she gets pregnant and has a boy, you’ll never have a chance of getting him.”
Were you threatened by the other woman — in this case, Debbie Boggs?
When I met Wade, Debbie had blond hair and looked very different than she does now. She was flat-chested, and when I met him he said that large breasts didn’t mean anything to him; but after dating for a year, he became much more obsessed with larger breasts. And each year in the Red Sox yearbook, they show a picture of the wives. Every year she looked different. She had the same hair color, the same haircut and hairdo, that I had. I confronted him. I asked him, “What are you doing? Are you trying to make Debbie into a Margo?” He’d say, “There will never be another Margo.” But I really thought that’s exactly what he was doing. It was quite chilling, and Wade was creating a clone of myself.
In 1986, the Boston Red Sox won the American League Championship. At that time they had to travel to your hometown of Anaheim to play the California Angels for that title. Did Boggs bring his wife to those games?
Debbie came along with him. She was pregnant. I had just resolved myself to the fact that she was coming and there was nothing I could do about it. You couldn’t very well tell her she couldn’t come when every single other wife was coming and the team paid for it and they were all going on the plane together. When they got out here, he called me right away. He called me at the office and I met him right across from the stadium. We sat and talked for a while, and he was actually more upset than me. He kept saying, “She doesn’t belong here. You belong here. She doesn’t belong here. This is your place.” He didn’t feel comfortable. And I heard from friends that went out with him after the games when they were here … He didn’t drink, he wasn’t himself, he was real cold to Debbie. He sent flowers to the office. I took him to the ballpark before each game. I gave him his kiss good-bye, and every time I dropped him off I’d say, “Get lots of hits.” Those were our words.
I was the one who took him to each of those play-off games in ’86, not his wife. It was the way he wanted it.
You saw Wade… you took Wade to the ballpark?
Wade took a cab and met me near the ballpark, then I would drive him to the ballpark and kiss him good-bye for luck. I went to the games. I sat a few rows behind Debbie and got a good look at her. At one point I followed her to the rest room — my girlfriend was hysterical — to see what she looked like. So I went into the bathroom and stood right next to her in the mirror. When she brushed her hair, I brushed my hair and just looked at her. Afterwards I was very, very upset. I came home and cried. It just bothered me too much — it was too close. You know, when she was across the country, it wasn’t the same thing. But to be in he same town and look face-to-face with her, it was very upsetting.
In 1985 Wade won his salary arbitration case with the Red Sox. You came to New York with him. Tell us about it.
That night we left and we went out to dinner. All of us went out to dinner — [Wade’s agent] Alan [Nero] and the attorney, David Brian — all went back, and Wade and I stayed out with a friend of Wade’s in New York, and went out and had another drink. The next morning his arbitration wasn’t until two o’clock that afternoon. So we got dressed, went downstairs, and had breakfast with Alan about 9:30.
Professional athletes often strive for the reputation Wade Boggs developed in his Major League career. As with sports, though, it always comes with a price.
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