Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Not long ago, major league baseball player Dock Ellis passed away. His best season was 1971, when he won 19 games for the World Series champion Pirates and was the starting pitcher for the National League in the All-Star Game. Ellis is probably best known for pitching a no-hitter while under the influence of LSD in 1970.

He didn't plan it that way. Ellis had been hanging out with friends in LA and was under the impression he had the day off when he ingested the powerful psychedelic.

"I was in Los Angeles, and the team was playing in San Diego, but I didn't know it. I had taken LSD..... I thought it was an off-day, that's how come I had it in me. I took the LSD at noon." At 1pm, his girlfriend and trip partner looked at the paper and said, "Dock, you're pitching today!"

Ellis boarded a shuttle flight to the ballpark and threw a no-hitter despite not being able to feel the ball or clearly see the batter or catcher.

"I can only remember bits and pieces of the game," Ellis recalled. "I was psyched. I had a feeling of euphoria. I was zeroed in on the glove, but I didn't hit the glove too much. I remember hitting a couple of batters and the bases were loaded two or three times. The ball was small sometimes, the ball was large sometimes, sometimes I saw the catcher, sometimes I didn't. Sometimes I tried to stare the hitter down and throw while I was looking at him. I chewed my gum until it turned to powder. They say I had about three to four fielding chances. I remember diving out of the way of a ball I thought was a line drive. I jumped, but the ball wasn't hit hard and never reached me."

autographed ball: Dock Ellis, No Hitter 6-12-70

The dubious achievement inspired several songs, including "Dock Ellis" by Barbara Manning (performed by SF Seals), "Dock Ellis No-No" by Chuck Brodsky, and "America's Favorite Pastime" by folk singer by Todd Snider.

Listen to "America's Favorite Pastime" by Todd Snider, click the button below:

Listen to "Dock Ellis" by SF Seals, by clicking here:

Dock Ellis, American Hero


Anonymous said...

Wow! That should be a new sport!

Bob Rini said...

It would certainly make it more interesting if the ball constantly changed size or the catcher turned into a giant fish.