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"All durin' the game was a little mist."
November 13, 2009 1:50 PM   Subscribe

Dock Ellis & The LSD No-No by James Blagden (SLYT). MetaFilter is no stranger to the late Dock Ellis and the legendary no-hitter he pitched under the influence of everyone's favorite indole phantasticant (previously: 2001, 2005, 2008), but this animation takes the story to a new level.
posted by solipsophistocracy (56 comments total) 48 users marked this as a favorite

 
I swear to God I was just making this post! We must be reading the same message board.

This is pure genius, btw.
posted by The Straightener at 1:52 PM on November 13, 2009


I saw this on Boing Boing earlier today and knew it would be posted here. The moral of the story is that LSD lets you see into the future.
posted by dortmunder at 1:55 PM on November 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


You got a no-no goin'!
posted by The Straightener at 1:56 PM on November 13, 2009


That was very good.
posted by dirty lies at 1:58 PM on November 13, 2009


"You got a no-no going!"

I'd never heard that audio recording. It is downloadable somewhere? (I guess I could rip the YT vid ...)

Great video. Thanks.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:00 PM on November 13, 2009


"woo I just made a touch down!" was the best line by far
posted by idiopath at 2:02 PM on November 13, 2009


Incredible. The story and the animation.
posted by naju at 2:03 PM on November 13, 2009


That was terrific! I was thinking about this story just the other day, thanks.
posted by From Bklyn at 2:03 PM on November 13, 2009


Awesome link, thanks.
posted by vorfeed at 2:05 PM on November 13, 2009


This is one of my favorite outlier baseball stories, and one of my favorite outlier DRUG stories.

There's something about the combination of the no-hitter, this rare, precious, precarious thing, with LSD. I mean, buddies in high school used to talk in hushed, terrified, reverential tones about the time they had to go to work at McDonalds while tripping. Doc Ellis? Not only did he go to work, but his job was to throw a ball sixty and and one half feet, towards a guy with a bat, in the mist, with 30,000 people watching. And he threw a no-hitter.

I also like Todd Snider's telling (singing?) of this tale, although he takes some liberties with the story.

Great stuff, really glad I saw this!
posted by dirtdirt at 2:08 PM on November 13, 2009 [6 favorites]


This is fantastic.
posted by Perplexity at 2:11 PM on November 13, 2009


To my mind, one of sport's crowning achievements. The video is wonderful, and it's a neat thing to hear Dock tell the story.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 2:12 PM on November 13, 2009


... "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."
posted by Auden at 2:28 PM on November 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


mrgrimm (and others interested in the original audio interview): An LSD No-No from Weekend America, Mar. 29, 2008 (embedded audio and link to download just above his pic).
posted by yiftach at 2:33 PM on November 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Every time I read this story I'm amazed all over again. The animation was a great fit, too.
posted by joe lisboa at 2:36 PM on November 13, 2009


Here's a link to the game. 8 walks, 1 HPB, and 3 SB's and no runs or hits! Game score of 85! WHILST TRIPPING BALLS! Nice work, Dock.
posted by Mach5 at 2:43 PM on November 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Also, the bases were never loaded, but he did have a putout, and he did get a touchdown.
posted by Mach5 at 2:46 PM on November 13, 2009


That was awesome.

Also, the mention of the casual and incredibly widespread use of stimulants is interesting, in light of all this talk of asterisks and Hall of Fame banning because of steroid use.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:49 PM on November 13, 2009


To be clear, I'm not saying players from the 70s should be asterisked or banned too. I'm saying that throughout the history of the game, players being on something is more the rule than the exception.
posted by drjimmy11 at 2:52 PM on November 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is there any TV footage of the game?
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 2:54 PM on November 13, 2009


Hands down best of the web.

in light of all this talk of asterisks and Hall of Fame banning because of steroid use

Moose Skowron, who played with Mickey Mantle among others said on NPR's 'Wait, Wait, Don't Tell me":

"We mighta had a few cocktails, but there weren't no steroids"
(that's from memory, so it's paraphrased)

Segment here.
posted by lumpenprole at 2:57 PM on November 13, 2009


Sorry to re-Boing. I got an IM from an old friend hipping me to this cartoon, and given MeFi's love of Dock Ellis, I thought folks might dig it.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 3:17 PM on November 13, 2009


Not being an American, I haven't watched a whole lot of baseball. But if there is one game in the sport I would absolutely love to have a look at, it would be this one. To think, the pitcher was peaking on acid in the middle of a major league baseball game in front of a stadium of 30,000 people, and he threw a perfect game. That is hands down one of the best sports tales ever.
posted by nudar at 3:25 PM on November 13, 2009


Not a perfect game, nudar, a no-hitter. In a perfect game no batter makes it on base. In a no-hitter, a batter may reach base on a walk or an error.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:48 PM on November 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


The moral of the story is that LSD lets you see into the future.

Actually, and I wish more research would be done with this, LSD lets you see into the present. IANAN, but something to do with serotonin blocking allows one to tap more directly into the feed coming in from the eyes with far less intervention and repackaging from the cerebral cortex. In most of our "waking" lives, we're living in a carbon copy of our senses with measurable lag time between something registering visually and being made into a meaningful subject for the personal narrative we think of as "me".
posted by Burhanistan at 3:51 PM on November 13, 2009 [9 favorites]


Just to follow up: a cursory googling says there have been 263 no-hitters pitched in major league ball, but only 18 perfect games.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:54 PM on November 13, 2009


From Wikipedia:

Dock Ellis retired to Victorville, California and a career as a drug counselor.


Counsellors don't usually give advice about acid like "take shitloads".
posted by lalochezia at 3:58 PM on November 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Fantastic.
posted by rtha at 4:07 PM on November 13, 2009


In a perfect game no batter makes it on base. In a no-hitter, a batter may reach base on a walk or an error.

Ahh my mistake BOP...so he still did good, right?
posted by nudar at 4:25 PM on November 13, 2009


I took LSD when I worked at seafood restaurant. Was probably the single worst night of my life. Had a random encounter with the police chasing someone in the parking lot I was taking out the trash, and that kind of set the tone for the whole night -- along with the shrimp screaming when I put them into the fryer a little later.

I ended up in my room by myself in my parents house completely freaking out thinking it would never end and the only thing that saved me from a complete mental breakdown was the Teletubbies coming on PBS and the sun coming up.

OMG THE SUN IS A GIANT BABY EVERYTHING IS RIGHT IN THE WORLD.

Anyway -- taking LSD at work is not recommended, unless you work at a night club or disneyland.
posted by empath at 4:39 PM on November 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


My friend's LSD story:

Taking a hit in a friend's garden, apparently falling sleep then waking up with a jolt shouting "I KNOW EVERYTHING", throwing off all his clothes and jumping into the pool.

Explaining to his friend's mother why there is a naked laughing man in her pool was ...difficult.
posted by The Whelk at 5:06 PM on November 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm wondering how dosed he was. A little bit might bring you into the present a little bit more, and help you focus on one thing only.

However, when you are truly high on LSD, you cannot talk or drive or do anything we are used to doing in everyday life. There are too many levels of analysis to work through.

On the other hand, doing something I was very used to doing (playing piano) was not hard on LSD. But, counterintuitively, what was missing was inspiration. Those emotive links did not work. I was working purely from muscle memory (what they often call it in the music or theater biz). I guess that's what he was doing.

Anyway, nice dialogue/animation!
posted by kozad at 5:11 PM on November 13, 2009


Just FYI, Willie Stargell had two homers in that game.
posted by stargell at 5:16 PM on November 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Man, do I miss the Grateful Dead...
posted by mikelieman at 5:28 PM on November 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


IANAN, but something to do with serotonin blocking allows one to tap more directly into the feed coming in from the eyes with far less intervention and repackaging from the cerebral cortex.

IAAN, and that story is off the mark. "Blocking" would be an antagonistic effect.

LSD is regarded as a serotonin (5-HT) agonist for the most part, particularly at the 5-HT 2A and 2C receptor subtypes. That means that it essentially tells the receptor to do whatever serotonin would tell it to do, although perhaps more stimulating the receptor more intensely than the neurotransmitter itself. LSD is also known to interact with other serotonergic receptors, dopaminergic receptors, and adrenergic receptors, but the action that is best understood is as a 5-HT 2A receptor agonist. In fact, for a significant period of time, LSD was actually the most reliable and well defined 5-HT 2A agonist, and many neuroscientists who work at the molecular level utilized it in petri-dish style experiments that, unfortunately, had little immediate relevance to its more interesting (to me, anyway) psychotropic effects.

5-HT 2A receptors are widely distributed throughout the central nervous system, but I suspect that LSD's psychedelic properties are closely tied to its action in the visual and orbitofrontal cortices, although some of the synesthetic effects may be dependent upon LSD's activity in the thalamus, which receives input from most of the perceptual systems, integrates/distinguishes this information, and projects back to higher cortical regions.

I have devoted no small amount of time and effort learning how LSD works in the brain, and how its neuropsychopharmalogical effects relate to the subjective experiences reported by those who have taken it. While it is still not something that is well understood by any means (much like the brain on the whole), there are several well supported and readily replicated findings upon which one might speculate.

That said, explanations like this one may be employ a higher degree of specificity about some of the elements involved, but are really only slightly better informed than outrageous myths like "acid makes microscopic holes in your brain, and as the blood from these holes seeps across the cortex and down the spinal cord, it interferes with normal neural processes, thus making you trip balls."

Fortunately for all of us, the doors to legitimate, rigorous exploration of LSD in human subjects are opening back up, and we should know a lot more in the near future.

Anyway -- taking LSD at work is not recommended, unless you work at a night club or disneyland.

I would not personally recommend taking LSD at a theme park of any kind. Everything has a tendency to seem extremely contrived and occasionally disturbing. Of course, as with most drugs, YMMV.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 5:29 PM on November 13, 2009 [24 favorites]


Ahh my mistake BOP...so he still did good, right?

Yes! Very, very good. No-hitters happen rarely - a couple times a season maximum.
posted by ORthey at 5:34 PM on November 13, 2009


Fuck.
perhaps more stimulating...
neuropsychopharmalogical neuropsychopharmacological

posted by solipsophistocracy at 5:34 PM on November 13, 2009


(er, not maximum, rather average)
posted by ORthey at 5:34 PM on November 13, 2009


Anyway -- taking LSD at work is not recommended, unless you work at a night club or disneyland.

I was never high when I was working at Disneyland. Was drunk once, but that really doesn't count.

But you have NO IDEA how many people I'd run into that would just announce they were tripping. During the summer, this would happen once or twice a week. God knows how many there were that didn't tell me. I suppose "let's go to Disneyland and drop acid" is one of the de rigueur things to do.

"We got any acid?"
"Yeah."
"Are we anywhere near Anaheim?"
"Yeah."
"DUDE."
"Duuuuuude."
"Dude! Dude?"
"Yeah, dude. Yeah."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:41 PM on November 13, 2009


God DAMMIT I just HATE when they get details wrong. The stadium pic at 1:45 shows an enclosed grandstand, but they didn't enclose San Diego Stadium (later Jack Murphy, then [ugh] Qualcomm) - the stands were horseshoe-shaped in 1970 GRAR GRAR and I'm as pathetic a loser as this animation is awesome, which is... quite a lot [thanks, solipsophistocracy!].
posted by hangashore at 5:49 PM on November 13, 2009


So is his name actually Ellis, D? That seems too good to be true.
posted by ODiV at 6:02 PM on November 13, 2009 [23 favorites]


I suppose "let's go to Disneyland and drop acid" is one of the de rigueur things to do.

"I used to love tripping, man. There's always one guy when you're tripping who wants you to do something to enhance the trip. You know what I'm talking about.
'You're tripping? Oh duuude, you gotta play miniature golf.'
Ha ha Yeah, that's exactly what I was thinking, man.
I'm just sitting over here watching the pyramids be built by UFOs right now, but get me to that fucking golf course.
I'm watching Jesus flying around on a unicorn, but I bet that little miniature golf would be just the thing to make this trip peak."
posted by nudar at 6:52 PM on November 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


Man, do I miss the Grateful Dead...

Man, do I miss Willie Stargell.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:59 PM on November 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I have only ever taken LSD once in my life. It was fantastic. Events have conspired to make it impractical for me to do it again. This reminds me that I really have to make an effort.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 11:37 PM on November 13, 2009


He wasn't just tripping, he was tweeking. Didn't know that. Didn't think this little bit of Americana could get any awesomer.
posted by bardic at 2:02 AM on November 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


this is an awesome story. as someone who has double-dropped i am frankly amazed he could even get to the airport and board a plane.

Here's a link to the game. 8 walks, 1 HPB, and 3 SB's and no runs or hits! Game score of 85! WHILST TRIPPING BALLS! Nice work, Dock.
posted by Mach5 at 2:43 PM on November 13 [1 favorite has favorites +] [!]

that has to be one of the most confusing pages of stats i have ever seen. i dont understand baseball, do you score if you walk/run round the bases or do only home runs count?

also:
"5-HT 2A receptors are widely distributed throughout the central nervous system, but I suspect that LSD's psychedelic properties are closely tied to its action in the visual and orbitofrontal cortices, although some of the synesthetic effects may be dependent upon LSD's activity in the thalamus, which receives input from most of the perceptual systems, integrates/distinguishes this information, and projects back to higher cortical regions.o:"
( solipsophistocracy)

er, yeah. when the walls are disolving and time is stretched and the music is "elvis live in hawaii" i didnt really have any time to think much about the 5 HT 2A receptors!
posted by marienbad at 4:38 AM on November 14, 2009


marienbad: I think the confusing part is "Game score," which refers to a newfangled statistic used to analyze games, not the actual score of the game (I had to go look it up). It might be extra-confusing for someone from England, since I guess 85 as a score is a number that makes sense in the context of cricket... not so much, baseball. The rest can be figured out with a little wiki'ing, if you care, but basically: HBP means "hit by pitch"; if this happens, the batter advances to first base, SB means "stolen base" — runners can advance bases during a pitch, though this is risky because the defending team can tag you out while you're trying it, and "walks" are when the pitcher throws four bad pitches ("outside of the strike zone") in an at-bat, which lets the batter advance to first base. Runs happen when a player on the offensive team advances around all the bases and back to home plate; runs are what determine who wins the game. A typical game ends with both teams having scored well under 10 runs; if either team gets into the double digits, it's an extremely high scoring game. Home runs are sort of like boundaries in cricket; if one happens the batter and all the players on base get to advance to home plate automatically.

The interest in bringing up the HBP, walks, SB stuff is that in this game, Dock Ellis was preternaturally great at keeping the other team from advancing the normal way (hitting the ball into the field) and kind of terrible at everything else.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 6:10 AM on November 14, 2009


What I take from this thread is that something called LSD does something.

And whatever that something is it may not be what you think it is/thought it was.
posted by humannaire at 8:08 AM on November 14, 2009


blah blah blah who can find me some?
posted by lslelel at 8:18 AM on November 14, 2009


empath: Anyway -- taking LSD at work is not recommended, unless you work at a night club or disneyland.

Having worked at Disneyland, I do not recommend this.
posted by joedan at 9:09 AM on November 14, 2009


People who are amazed at his ability to function while tripping balls are forgetting that this was a favorite past time of Doc Ellis'... what I'm saying is... he had a lot of practice prior to this accomplishment... I mean I'm not saying it's not amazing, just that if anyone was going to pull this off... well... he did.
posted by johnnybeggs at 9:09 AM on November 14, 2009


Having worked at Disneyland, I do not recommend this.

I make the opposite recommendation, but only for experience tripsters. DL is like the ultimate triptoy. It's full of little microenvironments made of exquisite detail and populated by surreal strangeness. If you start to feel uncomfortable in one locale, a completely new experience is just a few paces away. Half the rides at DL are not thrill rides, but story rides or experiences, so you're not going to end up flaming out on some roller coaster. Heck, nearly all the rides in Fantasyland, if you get too weirded out, you just close your eyes until the gentle glide of the ride has ended. You add in things like Fantasmic and the fireworks show at the end of the day, and you've got a real great time.

Still, not for the novice. If you can't get through a day without being totally obvious about your inner state, then it's not the place for you. DL is infamous for monitoring its guests and removing those who appear to be inebriated.
posted by hippybear at 9:50 AM on November 14, 2009


er, yeah. when the walls are disolving and time is stretched and the music is "elvis live in hawaii" i didnt really have any time to think much about the 5 HT 2A receptors!

Nobody asked you to. I sure hope that my explanation of how the drug you "double-dropped" doesn't detract from any past experiences you may have had or cast a negative light on any you may have in the future. Meanwhile, folks like myself will be busy working to understand why it is that some folks under the influence of LSD might be unable to board an airplane, while others can pitch a no-hitter. You worry about walls, chrono-dialation and Elvis, we'll worry about brains.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 11:44 AM on November 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


DL is infamous for monitoring its guests and removing those who appear to be inebriated.

This is true. A few of my wife's friends were kicked out of the park once in high school for dropping acid on the monorail (how could they tell?!). That said, they used to do it a lot.

However, when you are truly high on LSD, you cannot talk or drive or do anything we are used to doing in everyday life.

Not true (for me). You can do whatever you want. Everything is just gonna be a little different. (Admittedly, during that peaking period, it's best for me to sit down for a little bit.) It's not like k or salvia or [insert knock-you-on-your-ass-drug-here].
posted by mrgrimm at 9:24 AM on November 18, 2009


However, when you are truly high on LSD, you cannot talk or drive or do anything we are used to doing in everyday life.

Really, it's dependent on the dosage. One "hit" and a bit of experience and you can do just about anything (though you shouldn't do anything like go to work for goodness sake!). But a bit more and then you're entering into "who am I what is all of this oh my bliss swirling" and it's best to be someplace safe and comfy.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:30 AM on November 18, 2009


However, when you are I am truly high on LSD, you I cannot talk or drive or do anything we are I am used to doing in everyday life.

Speak for yourself.


On the other hand, doing something I was very used to doing (playing piano) was not hard on LSD. But, counterintuitively, what was missing was inspiration. Those emotive links did not work. I was working purely from muscle memory (what they often call it in the music or theater biz). I guess that's what he was doing.

I think a lot of artists would beg to differ.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 11:54 AM on November 18, 2009


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