I humbly present to all of you a true story from sports history that is possibly one of the funniest most amazing things I have ever heard. On June 12, 1970 Dock Ellis, pitched a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres while smacked on LSD. While footage of the event is being withheld at the moment (in ESPN’s possession) I can only imagine what it was like to watch this spectacle in real life. The whole story is below if the video isn’t enough (or you want the proof). Seriously folks, this is the best video I’ve seen in years. At the bottom of the post is a petition to get the real footage released. If you’re not into petitions then at least join the Dock Ellis Facebook Cause. Please do yourself a favor, and get in on the fight!
Dock Phillip Ellis, Jr. (March 11, 1945 – December 19, 2008) was a Major League Baseball player who pitched for the Pittsburgh Pirates, among other teams. 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. However, he is perhaps best remembered for the claim that he threw a no-hitter in 1970 while under the influence of LSD.
Ellis pitched a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres on June 12, 1970 despite being, as he would claim in 1984, under the influence of LSD throughout the course of the game. Ellis had been visiting friends in Los Angeles under the impression he had the day off and was still high when his friend’s girlfriend told him he had to pitch a game against the Padres that night. 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. Ellis claims catcher Jerry May wore reflective tape on his fingers which helped Ellis to see his target. Ellis walked eight, struck out six, and was aided by excellent fielding plays by second baseman Bill Mazeroski and center fielder Matty Alou. During the game, Ellis is reported to have commented to his teammates on the bench between innings that he was pitching a no-hitter, despite the superstition that discourages mentioning a no-hitter while it is in progress. Because the no-hitter was the first game of a double header, Ellis was forced to keep track of the pitch count for the night game.
As Ellis recounted it:
- “I can only remember bits and pieces of the game. I was psyched. I had a feeling of euphoria. I was zeroed in on the (catcher’s) 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. I started having a crazy idea in the fourth inning that Richard Nixon was the home plate umpire, and once I thought I was pitching a baseball to Jimi Hendrix, who to me was holding a guitar and swinging it over the plate. 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.”
The incident inspired the songs “Dock Ellis” by indie rock singer Barbara Manning, “America’s Favorite Pastime” by folk singer Todd Snider, “Dock Ellis No-No” by Chuck Brodsky, and “LSD (The Ballad of Doc Ellis)” by Boston rock band Random Road Mother.