FanPost

OT II "what a long strange trip"

June 12, 1970, no-hitter

Ellis pitched a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres on June 12, 1970. He would admit in 1984 to being under the influence of LSD throughout the course of the game.[2] Ellis had been visiting friends in Los Angeles under the impression that he had the day off, and he was still high when his friend's girlfriend told him that he had to pitch a game against the Padres that night. Ellis boarded a shuttle flight to the ballpark and threw a no-hitter, despite not being able to feel the ball or see the batter or catcher clearly.[3] Ellis said that catcher Jerry May wore reflective tape on his fingers, which helped Ellis to see his signals. Ellis walked eight batters and struck out six, and was aided by excellent fielding plays by second baseman Bill Mazeroski and center fielder Matty Alou.[4] Because the no-hitter was the first game of a double header, Ellis was forced to keep track of the pitch count for the night game.[5]

As Ellis recounted it:

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.[6]

The incident inspired the songs "Dock Ellis" by indie rock singer Barbara Manning, "America's Favorite Pastime" by folk singer Todd Snider, "Dock Ellis' No-No" by Chuck Brodsky,[7] and "LSD (The Ballad of Doc Ellis)" by Boston rock band Random Road Mother. Robin Williams has incorporated the tale into a standup routine for HBO. [8] An animated short film about the game, "Dock Ellis and the LSD No-No", features narration in Ellis's own voice, taken from a 2008 radio interview


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