How to pitch a no-hitter while on acid.
June 23, 2005 10:17 AM   Subscribe

How to pitch a no-hitter while on acid. Lessons from the career of baseball legend Dock Ellis.
posted by thebigpoop (30 comments total)
Double post. But I'm always happy to read about Ellis' no-hitter, and this is one of the better re-tellings I've come across.
posted by The Dryyyyy Cracker at 10:28 AM on June 23, 2005

Awesome... I bet the speed was the more potent perormance enhancer on the day he pitched the no hitter.
posted by mert at 10:30 AM on June 23, 2005

I remember hearing stories of Ellis as a teenager, and in those pre-internet days I could only wonder. The first time I thought to look him up on the net I couldn't believe it was actually true.

Dallas is a shithole of a town, my least favorite American city (barring its surrounding suburbs which, I have to say, sink even lower into nothingness), devoid of anything resembling actual culture or coolness, but the Observer somehow manages to overcome its location and continually host top notch writers and intelligent, wonderfully written and interesting material. One of the best Voice-styled weeklies around.

Cracker, it's not really a double when it's an entirely new article on the subject matter.
posted by item at 10:48 AM on June 23, 2005

Dallas is a void. So is your soul. Mix them together and you've got good company.
posted by Satapher at 10:52 AM on June 23, 2005

Help me out here, Satapher: my soul is a void? What the fuck did I say to offend you?
posted by item at 10:54 AM on June 23, 2005

all souls, friend. culture is whack. we need more gadgets.
posted by Satapher at 10:58 AM on June 23, 2005

I see yr zip listed as 75***, so you're in the metroplex. I lived there from ages one through eighteen and still have family and friends there. I know/knew the area quite well.

I used gadgets as an escape while living there. Gadgets and drugs, much like Mr. Ellis.
posted by item at 11:01 AM on June 23, 2005

Stories like this should be remembered when people get all uppity about steroids and the legislation to ban them. Good idea, but hey, how bout we deal with greenies and the other amphetamines, which are much more prevalent, at the same time rather than pretend they don't exist.

Either way, great story. Anyone who beans Reggie Jackson in the face is a swell cat in my book.
posted by spicynuts at 11:02 AM on June 23, 2005

Wow. I've only taken acid once, but I can tell you, amphetamine help or not, that's a pretty amazing feat.

Satapher, hope that bug crawls outta yer ass soon.
posted by Specklet at 11:04 AM on June 23, 2005

File under Ellis, D.
posted by jikel_morten at 11:16 AM on June 23, 2005 [2 favorites]

What the fuck did I say to offend you?

Maybe it's the offtopic rant about what a "shithole" Dallas is?

As for that, I'd say you just weren't hanging out in the right places ;)

Great article.
posted by First Post at 11:44 AM on June 23, 2005

Geez, and I thought Bill Lee was f'ed up....
posted by dersins at 11:49 AM on June 23, 2005

My rant was close to the topic, First Post. I was singing the praises of the source of thebigpoop's post and to get there I had to explain how I felt about the region that spawned the paper.

Here's what off topic looks like: I definitely hung out in the right places. I spent many a schoolnight in sweaty underground punk clubs (Common Ground, Slipped Disk, the Storefront, the Yellow House - to name but a few), many of which were fly-by-night. I also clocked in many hours in the few (at the time) nonyuppified Deep Ellum venues & coffeehouses and the even fewer Lower Greenville locations. These places were undeniably fun for a teenager stuck in the sprawling wasteland of the Metroplex, but paled in comparison to comparable clubs in other cities I've visited and lived in. Yes, there are likely lamer cities than Dallas in the U.S., but for a city of its size and magnitude it's pretty terrible.

Back on topic: So, Dock Ellis was a pretty interesting character, huh?
posted by item at 12:30 PM on June 23, 2005

Fair enough, item...Slipped Disk! Ah the memories. If you hung out in those places you probably heard me playing guitar with somebody or another :)

I guess it's just that I see a lot of that type of sentiment around. I can understand it on some level, and everybody's got a different take on stuff, but I've just had a pretty good time over the years living here. Admittedly there's a lot of artifice that surrounds life in the dee eff dub, but I suppose I've always been able to look past that. It's all good tho.

But yes, Dock Ellis pitching a no-no on acid. I wonder how many games Darryl Strawberry played on crack?
posted by First Post at 1:00 PM on June 23, 2005

Great article -- and I don't even like baseball.
posted by killdevil at 1:21 PM on June 23, 2005

seconded killdevil..... nice read...
posted by Debaser626 at 1:29 PM on June 23, 2005

Didn't Ross Grimsley also do this for the Expos back in the day?
posted by clevershark at 2:25 PM on June 23, 2005

I can only imagine
posted by Thayer-P at 3:27 PM on June 23, 2005

pssssstttttttt: item, Big D is just missing a coastal port to make the place more on track to cities that follow it in size.
You may be surprise the Arts it has now; and pitching a no hitter on anything seems priceless.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:39 PM on June 23, 2005

I love this story, but I hadn't read it in years. Thanks for reminding me.
posted by joe_murphy at 5:07 PM on June 23, 2005

This is the best piece I've read on Dock Ellis; thanks for posting it.
When the Cincinnati Reds taunted the Pirates after beating them in the 1972 National League Championship Series, Ellis decided to motivate his team by hitting every single batter in the Reds' lineup. He hit the first three and walked two before he was pulled. He had, in short, that certain combination of raw talent and insanity that very rarely creates Hall of Famers but almost always creates legends.
Gotta disagree with spicynuts, though: hitting anybody in the face with a fastball is a shitty thing to do, and deserves being prosecuted for assault with a deadly weapon. Aside from that, I admire the man. (I still say Bob Gibson is the pitcher I'd least have liked to face, though.)
posted by languagehat at 5:30 PM on June 23, 2005

jikel_morten, that was a highly amusing comment lost in the snark. great post, thebig--uh--poop.
posted by gohlkus at 6:35 PM on June 23, 2005

Sort of brings back a memory of the time I dropped and forgot that I had to be at work at a movie theatre. So for most of my shift I stood there and talked to this retarded guy who hung out/worked there for a couple of hours while taking tickets.

After I've come down for the most part, he turns to me and says 'You talk too much'.

Sure, it's not a no-hitter, but I think a lot of us have been there and managed to not completely screw up whatever we were doing somehow. Great article.
posted by angry modem at 6:57 PM on June 23, 2005

spacket is a n00b... I am the bug up my own ass
posted by Satapher at 8:43 PM on June 23, 2005


pitchers plunking hitters is part of baseball. just like rushing the mound and beating their ass to a pulp is also part of baseball.

what i consider chickenshit is the DH rule which makes it so that the pitcher doesnt have to get into the batters box and get his payback. in the AL the retaliation to a headhunting pitcher usually takes place against the offending team's star player.

if only the checks and balances in Government were so instantly gratified.

either way Doc Ellis is a frickin stud and i'm glad he told his story.
posted by tsarfan at 12:36 AM on June 24, 2005

the (insanely well-known) superstition that a pitcher never talks about a no-hitter until it's complete

Yeah, but the rest of the superstition is:

unless the pitcher is on acid!

posted by soyjoy at 10:08 AM on June 24, 2005

pitchers plunking hitters is part of baseball.

Absolutely, and I have no problem with it; I often complain about the tut-tutting that accompanies it these days (along with the endless time getting "ready" for the pitch on both ends, the non-stop music... don't get me started). But "plunking" means hitting a guy in the ass, leg, arm, or other painful but relatively harmless spot. You can kill someone hitting them in the head (ever heard of Ray Chapman?). Totally different thing; don't confuse the issue.

gohlkus, thanks for calling my attention to jikel_morten's comment—it went right by me (and into left field).
posted by languagehat at 10:50 AM on June 24, 2005

I got one of my best scores playing Defender on acid. Just one hit tho.

Good thing Ellis had been drinking screwdrivers, he'd've been wiped without the extra vitamin C.

Hoffman rode a bike on what, ~100,000 hits? That's amazing.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:18 PM on June 24, 2005

languagehat - thanks for calling my attention to gohlkus's calling of your attention to jikel_morten's comment. I'm going to remember that one.

And also, thebigpoop- thanks for calling my attention to Dock Ellis, even though someone else on Mefi had already called attention to him... back in May of 2001!
posted by afroblanca at 3:17 PM on June 24, 2005

Barbara Manning did a song about this, called "Dock Ellis", with her group The S. F. Seals.
posted by intermod at 8:33 PM on June 24, 2005

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