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Keith Millea
12-21-2008, 08:19 PM
Colorful Ex-Pitcher Ellis Dies at 63

By BEN WALKER
,
AP
posted: 1 DAY 8 HOURS AGO
comments: 97 (http://sports.aol.com/mlb/story/_a/bbdp/colorful-ex-pitcher-ellis-dies-at-63/283419#Comments)
filed under: MLB (http://sports.aol.com/mlb)

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(Dec. 20) -- Dock Ellis, who infamously claimed he pitched a no-hitter for Pittsburgh under the influence of LSD and later fiercely spoke out against drug and alcohol addiction, died Friday. He was 63.
His wife, Hjordis, said he died at the USC Medical Center in Los Angeles.

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Dock Ellis, Dec. 19: The former Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher was best remembered for his interesting persona, and claimed he threw a no-hitter against Padres in June 1970 while under the influence of LSD.






"It's a tremendous loss to the family," she said. "He's been struggling for about a year with the end stages of liver disease."
Ellis' death was first reported by ESPN.com.
"I've been in this business for 40 years and there was never a more standup guy," former agent Tom Reich said.
Ellis went 138-119 with a 3.46 ERA from 1968-79, spending most of his career with the Pirates. He went 19-9 in 1971 when Pittsburgh won the World Series, and made his only All-Star appearance that summer - and what a show it was. Ellis was tagged for one of the most memorable home runs in All-Star history, Reggie Jackson's monster shot off the light tower at Tiger Stadium.
In 1970, Ellis overcame eight walks to pitch a no-hitter in the first game of a doubleheader at San Diego. Several years after he retired, the right-hander said he was high on LSD during the victory.
At a time when drugs, race and other issues in American society were colliding with baseball, Ellis often was at the forefront. He spoke his mind and stood by what he said while playing with the likes of Willie Stargell, Dave Parker and Roberto Clemente.
"He didn't take nothing from nobody," Reich said. "He was very much ahead of his time."
Ellis played on four Pirates teams that won the NL East and also pitched for the New York Yankees, Oakland, Texas and the New York Mets.


Eat flowers and kiss babies
LSD, for you and me

Country Joe and the Fish

Keith Millea
12-22-2008, 12:41 AM
Dock Ellis gave an interview for High Times Magazine in 1987.I was only able to find a small exerpt of this interview.

Excerpts from an August, 1987 High Times article about the June 20, 1970 game. By Eric Brother.
"Dock woke up late. Why shouldn't he? As far as he knew, the team had an off day and he planned to take full advantage of it. Three hits of LSD were ready and waiting in the refrigerator.
"A few minutes later, his girlfriend returned with coffee, donuts, and the morning paper. At noon, they dropped acid. Dock put on a record, while his girlfriend read the paper.
"Dock, it says here you're pitching today!"
"Whaaaa...? said Dock groggily. He snatched the paper, scanned the box scores, and read:

PITTSBURGH AT PADRES
DOUBLEHEADER
(6 P.M.) - Ellis (4-4) vs. Roberts (3-3)
[He makes it to the game and after having someone help him find his locker, he suits up and enters the game.]
"Dave Roberts, the Padres' pitcher, had an easy first inning, ending with Roberto Clemente hitting one back to the box. Dock marched to the mound, wondering if he'd last the inning.
"His fingers tingled as he squeezed the ball. He squinted to see catcher Jerry May's hand signals. He nodded his head and went into his windup, falling slightly off balance in the process. The ball hit the ground about two feet in front of the plate and skipped into May's glove.
"May signaled for a fastball outside. Dock wound up and threw a hot one over the the corner of the plate - a swinging strike! It was no ordinary pitch: The ball burst from Dock's hand and left a blazing, cometlike tail that remained visible long after the ball was caught.
"Dock felt wobbly on the mound and his stomach was churning with acid cramps. His concentration, however, was superb. As long as he kept to his fastball, the comets kept burning across the plate. All he had to do was steer the ball down the multicolored path. Dock had a crazed look in his eyes and his lack of control was evident to the batters, many of whom were feeling increasingly vulnerable in the batter's box. Dock easily retired three batters in a row [in the second inning].
[the seventh inning:]
"The Pirates were clinging to their 1-0 lead. Dock was staring at the scoreboard when he realized he'd pitched hitless ball for seven innings. He smacked Cash on the arm.
"Hey, look," said Dock, pointing at the scoreboard. "I've got a no-no going!"
Cash gave him a blank look. "A no-no?" asked Cash. He'd never heard the term before. But Cash wanted to keep the pitcher loose and happy, so he smiled and said nothing.
[He finished the game without a hit.]
(Dock had a pretty good year in 1970. He went 13-10, and helped the Pirates win their first of three divisional championships. The fact that he pitched his no-hitter on LSD was not revealed until April 8, 1984.

Mark Stapleton
12-23-2008, 04:08 AM
I have trouble believing it, unless it was an extremely mild dose.

Playing elite level sport whilst high on LSD would be almost impossible, imo. There's too much turmoil going on inside your head.

Keith Millea
12-23-2008, 07:04 AM
Mark,
I tend to believe the story.Back in 1970 the acid was still pretty darn good.One story I read said it was purple haze.That was one of Owsleys creations.There was none better than his.Dock also walked 5 batters and hit 3,so a bit erratic he was.:rolleyes:

Keith

I guess I'll go out to the seashore
and let the waves wash my mind
Open up my head now
just to see what I might find

Country Joe and the Fish
"Bass Strings"

Mark Stapleton
12-25-2008, 04:14 AM
Mark,
I tend to believe the story.Back in 1970 the acid was still pretty darn good.One story I read said it was purple haze.That was one of Owsleys creations.There was none better than his.



You might have a point there, Keith.

But regardless of how good it was, it would still be the most incredible sporting feat in history if true.

Many years ago I read a book called "Drugs" by British jounalist Peter Laurie. In his chapter on LSD, he chronicled his experience with LSD which he and his wife undertook in furtherence of research. He kept writing throughout the whole experience. It's a fascinating read.

Keith Millea
12-25-2008, 05:12 AM
But regardless of how good it was, it would still be the most incredible sporting feat in history if true.

Mark,
I wouldn't really call it a most incredible feat,more like an incredible lucky day.:rolleyes: Actually,I would have agreed with you wholeheartily that it just couldn't be true,except for the fact that Dock was a pitcher.The real "trick" about controlling acid is keeping your focus,and that's exactly what pitchers are trained to do.When a pitcher goes back into the dugout,he usually sits by himself.His team-mates don't talk to him.He tries to keep his total focus on the game.Again,with acid if your mind starts to wander you have to bring it back.You can come out of bad trips by just refocusing unto something else.EXPERIENCE MATTERS!Music is a great refocusing tool.The Grateful Dead have a line in the song "Franklins Tower",(If you get confused listen to the music play).If you ask any real DeadHead,they will tell you this line has saved them from the abyss many times.

Keith

Mark Stapleton
12-25-2008, 08:28 AM
Mark,
I wouldn't really call it a most incredible feat,more like an incredible lucky day.:rolleyes: Actually,I would have agreed with you wholeheartily that it just couldn't be true,except for the fact that Dock was a pitcher.The real "trick" about controlling acid is keeping your focus,and that's exactly what pitchers are trained to do.When a pitcher goes back into the dugout,he usually sits by himself.His team-mates don't talk to him.He tries to keep his total focus on the game.Again,with acid if your mind starts to wander you have to bring it back.You can come out of bad trips by just refocusing unto something else.EXPERIENCE MATTERS!Music is a great refocusing tool.The Grateful Dead have a line in the song "Franklins Tower",(If you get confused listen to the music play).If you ask any real DeadHead,they will tell you this line has saved them from the abyss many times.

Keith

I can't see how you could stay focused when you don't have control of your mind.

The author I mentioned was able to retain focus under the strict conditions he set for himself and his surroundings, and with the support of his wife.

It would have been a lot tougher for Dock. Impossible, imo.

Dawn Meredith
12-25-2008, 05:02 PM
I can't see how you could stay focused when you don't have control of your mind.

The author I mentioned was able to retain focus under the strict conditions he set for himself and his surroundings, and with the support of his wife.

It would have been a lot tougher for Dock. Impossible, imo.

I have trouble with this story too. Not that he would not try to play because people did lots of unusual stuff on LSD, but that he would do as well. But ...it's a great story nonethe less, better than the CIA using it as truth serum.

Dawn

Keith Millea
12-25-2008, 10:35 PM
Well,Snopes rates it as a TRUE STORY,but with the caveat that only Dock really knows.Also the timeline that he took the LSD at noon,and didn't start pitching the game until 6:05 pm means he was well past the peak of the drug.I will agree with Dawn,It makes for a great story none the less.:)

Snopes has pop-ups
http://snopes.com/sports/baseball/ellis.asp

Keith

Mark Stapleton
12-26-2008, 03:09 PM
Either way, it's certainly an interesting story.