Baseball + LSD

From the moment you start any youth sport the first thing they drill into your little head is to stay away from drugs. They are what will bring even the most talented player down and keep him from accomplishing anything in said sport. Well apparently Dock Ellis never got the memo. You see good ol’ Dock Ellis pitched a no hitter in Major League Baseball. Yea, it’s been done on multiple occasions the difference here was that Dock was high on LSD.

Back on June 12, 1970 Ellis suited up for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He started the first game of a double header against the San Diego Padres. Dock visited a friend in Los Angeles and used LSD multiple times stating he was “High as a Georgia pine.” He ended up losing track of time. The game he was set to start was scheduled for Friday at 6:05 PM, but Dock thought it was still Thursday and took some more LSD on Friday at Noon. He was then reminded by his friend’s girlfriend around 2 PM about the game. He caught a flight to San Diego and then proceeded pitch the now infamous no hitter.

Photograph by Bettmann/Corbis

“I really didn’t know, I didn’t see the hitters. All I could tell was if they was on the right side or the left side,” said Dock in the 2014 film, No No: A Dockumentary. “The opposing team and my team mates they knew I was high, but they didn’t know what I was high on.”

Dock walked eight batters, hit one with a pitch, and struck out six. Pittsburgh won the game 2-0 and the rest was history. Dock has stated that he was high during every single game he pitched in Major League Baseball. It wasn’t until 1984 that Dock let it be known about his no hitter on LSD.

Like with anything there are doubters that don’t believe Dock Ellis actually pitched a no hitter while high on LSD, and there are those that believe him. Scipio Spinks, a close friend of Dock’s and a pitcher for the Houston Astros believes his claims. He was very familiar with Dock’s drug habits including his use of LSD.

Dock passed away on December 19, 2008 from Cirrhosis. He got things together in the later part of his life and worked as a drug counselor. During his playing career he was known for fighting to further the rights of African American players. As strange as it might sound to you, if you knew anything about Dock it wasn’t strange at all. He was a different type of guy. On May 1, 1974 he attempted to hit every single pitcher in the Cincinnati Reds line up. The reason, he felt his team was intimidated by them. He hit the first three batters; the fourth avoided his pitches and got on base with a walk. He aimed at the fifth batters head twice before finally being removed from the game. Yep Dock was a different type of guy.

Make sure to watch No No: A Dockumentary on Netflix. The critically acclaimed film not only covers the LSD no hitter, but Dock Ellis as a person and give great insight into who he was.

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