"[They] had no idea what LSD was other than what they seen on TV with the hippies"
December 20, 2008 7:25 AM   Subscribe

Dock Ellis, an American baseball pitcherprev, won more games for the champion 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates than anyone else that year. Of course, he was under the influence of the performance-enhancing drug known as LSD on at least one no-hit occasion. Ellis died yesterday at the age of 63.

Here's a nice little NPR piece/interview from last spring about the event.
posted by item (68 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
.

(for completeness, our prior discussion on his amazing game)
posted by caddis at 7:33 AM on December 20, 2008


A dot for Dock.
posted by fixedgear at 7:33 AM on December 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Here's the AP obit. with a little more detail. It's hard to remember how great the Pirates were back then, now that they're working on the record to be the worst team ever.
posted by octothorpe at 7:34 AM on December 20, 2008


I've often thought that my Metafilter comments would be better if I were on LSD.

Your comments would probably seem better too.
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:46 AM on December 20, 2008


. strike . strike . strike

.
posted by twoleftfeet at 7:50 AM on December 20, 2008


@
posted by not_on_display at 7:52 AM on December 20, 2008 [3 favorites]


.
posted by mikelieman at 8:02 AM on December 20, 2008


.
posted by mattbucher at 8:04 AM on December 20, 2008


I'm gonna go do the do now.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 8:05 AM on December 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


.

That's a microdot.
posted by gman at 8:06 AM on December 20, 2008


0_o

.
posted by schyler523 at 8:08 AM on December 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


۞►
posted by foot at 8:09 AM on December 20, 2008


Thank you, Dock, and thank you, Albert Hoffman.
posted by digaman at 8:19 AM on December 20, 2008


<small><small><small><small><small><small>
.
</small></small></small></small></small></small>
posted by ardgedee at 8:24 AM on December 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


I first found out about Dock through Barbara Manning's song. As Lipstick Thespian alludes, Dock wasn't just a great pitcher, he was a spark plug for his teammates and a righteous dude.

.
posted by whuppy at 8:32 AM on December 20, 2008


°
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 8:45 AM on December 20, 2008


...........o O-<_<
posted by dunkadunc at 8:45 AM on December 20, 2008


It still amazes me every time I hear about it that he didn't just stand on the mound and watch the stitching move. Or grind his teeth to dust with all the speed in his system. RIP, Dock.
posted by sleepy pete at 8:55 AM on December 20, 2008


Or just freak the fuck out because he was in a stadium pitching a major league baseball game.
posted by josher71 at 8:58 AM on December 20, 2008 [4 favorites]


Tabbed.
posted by Heatwole at 9:00 AM on December 20, 2008


The police started a riot down at the courthouse

Again

Running amok, spilling blood, bashing heads.

I do my part behind the lines, swabbing door handles of cop cars,

With D.M.S.O. mixed with L.S.D.....
posted by Evilspork at 9:03 AM on December 20, 2008


.
posted by box at 9:04 AM on December 20, 2008


He's at the right hand of Jesus now... getting baked on some real primo shit.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:05 AM on December 20, 2008


*
(hey, if they're going to do it to barry bonds ...)
posted by pyramid termite at 9:10 AM on December 20, 2008


*_*
posted by fleetmouse at 9:13 AM on December 20, 2008


.....
posted by nitsuj at 9:31 AM on December 20, 2008


Throwin' strikes while trippin' balls.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:35 AM on December 20, 2008 [3 favorites]


i suppose when he got batted out early in a game he blamed the brown acid
posted by pyramid termite at 9:53 AM on December 20, 2008


I never considered acid to be "performance-enhancing", particularly at the major league level. Perhaps if one is performing free-form interpretive dance at a Dead show.
posted by Cletis at 10:01 AM on December 20, 2008


Dock Ellis D
no-no
My favorite baseball story ever
.
posted by isopraxis at 10:14 AM on December 20, 2008


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posted by DecemberBoy at 10:31 AM on December 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hey Doc, hope you're tripping your balls off.
posted by doctorschlock at 10:45 AM on December 20, 2008


As Robin Williams said, it would be more fun to give LSD to the umpire: "Don't steal home-Share it!"
posted by jonmc at 10:48 AM on December 20, 2008


C20H25N3O
posted by swift at 10:49 AM on December 20, 2008


From the Snopes link: An unfortunate aspect of Dock Ellis' admission is that he is now remembered by many people (especially those too young to have seen him play during his heyday with the Pirates) as "the guy who pitched a no-hitter on drugs," a characterization which not only slights a baseball career that included some very fine moments, but also obscures the many acts of charity and conscience in which Ellis engaged both during and after his playing days: he worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to rehabilitate black prisoners, helped start the Black Athletes Foundation for Sickle Cell Research, and served as the coordinator of an anti-drug program in Los Angeles.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:51 AM on December 20, 2008 [4 favorites]


Man, he *was* the ball.

.
posted by The Whelk at 11:02 AM on December 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh Wow! What happened to yesterday?
The No-No, in Dock's own words.
posted by isopraxis at 11:03 AM on December 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


I never considered acid to be "performance-enhancing", particularly at the major league level.

You see what those fuckers did in Mumbai?
posted by gman at 11:28 AM on December 20, 2008


.
posted by einzelsprachlich at 11:30 AM on December 20, 2008


Is there no footage that exists of this legendary LSD no-hitter?
posted by crapmatic at 11:35 AM on December 20, 2008


Here's the AP obit. with a little more detail.

(And a little more...)
He was diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver in late 2007 and put on the transplant list in 2008. Having no health insurance, he had to rely on friends and former co-workers to cover his medical bills. The obit was a little light on the details, and I figure Dock probably deserves more than a dot.

The other thing I wanted to add was, even if the LSD story is completely true, I still think the stunt he pulled on May 1, 1974 was more incredible ("We gonna get down. We gonna do the do. I’m going to hit these motherfuckers.") You gotta be some kind of bad ass to announce that you're going to hit the other team's players, then proceed to actually do it over and over again until you get thrown out of the game.

I wish I could find a video of that first inning...
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:37 AM on December 20, 2008


From the Snopes link: An unfortunate aspect of Dock Ellis' admission is that he is now remembered by many people (especially those too young to have seen him play during his heyday with the Pirates) as "the guy who pitched a no-hitter on drugs"...

That's probably because he was the fucking guy who fucking pitched a fucking no-hitter on fucking L.S.D. I have a serious crisis resulting in the need to lie down when I attempt to pick out a record to listen to while on the stuff.
posted by item at 11:38 AM on December 20, 2008 [5 favorites]


I never considered acid to be "performance-enhancing", particularly at the major league level.

I should apologize - I used an unfair, sideways kind of sarcasm that only reveals itself to the reader if they've let no less than 4 and 1/2 hits of gel dissolve in their mouths.
posted by item at 11:43 AM on December 20, 2008


Yeah, what Item said. Pitching a no-hitter on drugs is not really a biggie, as I'm quite sure several steroid and/or speed abusers have done so. I'm also old enough to have seen Dock Ellis pitch on a 13" B&W TV with rabbit ears. So yay for Snopes, stick to the debunking and leave the editorializing out of it.
posted by fixedgear at 11:45 AM on December 20, 2008


One last thought: I find sports - and baseball in particular - more boring than taking acid with a couple of 16 year old girls that just finished up their shifts at the local mall's Claire's Accessories. I 'd never have known about ol' Dock if he hadn't cemented this episode into legend.
posted by item at 11:49 AM on December 20, 2008


.........
.........
.........
posted by jtron at 12:22 PM on December 20, 2008


That is by far one of the best sports stories ever.
posted by Artw at 12:27 PM on December 20, 2008


A swell extended article on the mensch who was Dock. My favorite part:

[Intimidation is] "such an important aspect of the game," he says. "Like hitting batsmen. All hitters know they're gonna get hit. They just don't know when. The kicker for the truly good hitters is, you cannot hit me as many times as I'm gonna hit you. They take that hit to get six hits. But you gotta pop their ass so you can get an 0 for 4 on them one day. Don't get cocky now, motherfucker. The challenge is on. So let's get it on. Other guys might explain it differently, have different reasons, but that was mine.

"Right about the time I left, it changed. You can't throw at anyone without getting thrown out of the game. The announcers today say it ruins the game. They never talk about the fights that Cincinnati and St. Louis got into 30 years ago. Barry Bonds? I'd hit him at least once a game. 'Cause he's got all that shit on. Yeah, let's see that shit stop the ball from hurting him if I hit him on the motherfucking elbow or something. I'd hit him just to see, does it work?"

posted by FelliniBlank at 12:41 PM on December 20, 2008 [5 favorites]


Hm. Wonder if he's the namesake of St. Louis' Dock Ellis Band. Who are a fine menschy bunch themselves.
posted by limeonaire at 12:51 PM on December 20, 2008


Erm, borked link: Dock Ellis Band
posted by limeonaire at 12:52 PM on December 20, 2008


Barry Bonds? I'd hit him at least once a game. 'Cause he's got all that shit on. Yeah, let's see that shit stop the ball from hurting him if I hit him on the motherfucking elbow or something. I'd hit him just to see, does it work?

My God that's some awesome, funny shit.

Note to civilization: more of these, please.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 1:04 PM on December 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Note to self: RTFpreviously, Fellini.
posted by FelliniBlank at 2:05 PM on December 20, 2008


Amen, MegoSteve. Plus he did the do. He got down.
posted by whuppy at 2:36 PM on December 20, 2008


And amen to you too, Civil_Disobedient.
posted by whuppy at 2:38 PM on December 20, 2008


And a big hell yeah to FelliniBlank.
posted by whuppy at 2:41 PM on December 20, 2008


One more thing: The DH rule is bullshit. Can I get an amen?
posted by whuppy at 2:43 PM on December 20, 2008


Amen.
posted by popechunk at 2:59 PM on December 20, 2008


eh, it hardly compares, but -- i once won a croquet game while tripping hard. it was impossible not to get a perfect shot: whenever i looked at a wicket, the grass between it and the ball would transform into perfect little green targets. zeroed in. all i had to do was hit the ball, and it zipped right down the little path of bulls-eyes and through the wire. hardly compares to a major league game; but because of this experience, i have a certain appreciation for that no-hitter Doc pitched. i learned of it only a short time after the croquet game, and it just made so much sense. "ahhh... yeah!"
posted by lapolla at 3:04 PM on December 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Surely that fateful outing on June 12, 1970, in San Diego must have been the scariest experience of Dock Ellis's 12-year career. "That's not true," says Ellis, 62, with a wide grin. "The scariest time was in 1973, when I tried to pitch completely sober."

One of my faves, a great pitcher for those great Pirates teams. Little known fact: Dock gave up what is probably the most famous home run in All-Star Game history, Reggie Jackson's blast off the light stanchion at Tiger Stadium in 1971.
posted by stargell at 3:52 PM on December 20, 2008


Willie? Is that you?
posted by netbros at 4:50 PM on December 20, 2008


In a game with so many kick ass characters, Dock Ellis still stands out as one of the greats. I'll be honest that I don't remember him as a great player, but has always struck me as just a cool fucking guy.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 6:09 PM on December 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


I played a great game of pinball while tripping. It was only later than my friend told me that I had neglected to put in a quarter.
posted by jonmc at 6:10 PM on December 20, 2008 [5 favorites]


I was always very impressed by this. I function pretty well under the influence of acid but some things are impossible - for example, I'm completely unable to tune a guitar.

My best moment of competence... I put a CD into my player as the acid came on and it got stuck. This was before mp3s so I had two choices: 1. trip without music 2. take my CD player apart (a 200-CD changer), remove the CD, put it back together.

I opted for 2. It was hairy. My mind kept drifting. The CD was jammed and slightly bent in place - I had to drag it out by main force. As I was putting the screws back in, it was coming on very hard (four hits). I put a CD in... and it worked. Hail Eris!

(This is not at all comparable to pitching a no-hitter - let alone in the majors...)


posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:20 PM on December 20, 2008 [1 favorite]


Or just freak the fuck out because he was in a stadium pitching a major league baseball game.
posted by josher71 at 8:58 AM on December 20 [4 favorites +] [!]


I'd never thought of that. Thanks for pointing it out.
posted by sleepy pete at 6:24 PM on December 20, 2008


.
posted by mediareport at 6:27 PM on December 20, 2008


Re: acid croquet - see assisted billiards - does that feel similar?
posted by Pronoiac at 12:03 AM on December 21, 2008


I been to mushroom mountain
Once or twice but who's countin'
But nothing compares
To these blue and yellow purple pills
posted by titboy at 9:32 AM on December 21, 2008


No post on Dock Ellis would be complete without mentioning Chuck Brodsky's song Dock Ellis’s No-No from his excellent album of baseball songs, The Baseball Ballads. It is also worth mentioning that he co-wrote his autobiography (Amazon link)with the future poet-laureate of the United States. Here is an article about his illness, and here is some more info on the home run he gave up to Reggie Jackson. Definitely one of baseball's most memorable characters, and from what those who knew him say an all-around great guy.
posted by TedW at 1:51 PM on December 21, 2008


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