MLB: The day Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter on LSD
© SIDock Ellis
Dock Ellis played from 1968-1979 in the Majors and admitted to never being sober once on the mound during his professional career.
Pitching a no- hitter is hard, it takes a huge effort, just ask David Cone, Randy Johnson, or Félix Hernández. 317 times in the history of Major League Baseball has a pitcher not allowed a single hit during a game.
The Los Angeles Dodgers is the ball club with the most no-hitters pitched with 26, followed by the Chicago White Sox with 20. The Pittsburgh Pirates have 6 no-hitter games but one in particular is legendary.
On June 12, 1970, right hander Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter for the Pirates against the San Diego Padres. Ellis had been a reliable pitcher at the time, in his third year in the MLB, when he took the mound. What nobody knew was that Ellis was pitching under the influence of LSD and had been consuming drugs throughout his career.
The background on Dock Ellis
Dock Ellis was born in Los Angeles, California, at an early age he showed signs of being a big-time baseball prospect. There was only one catch, Ellis had been abusing drugs and alcohol as early as 14. Ellis did not play for his high school baseball team because one of the members on the team had called him a “spearchucker’.
Then one day Ellis was caught smoking marijuana in the high school bathroom, instead of being expelled or suspended, the brass informed the troubled youth that they’d look the other way if he played for the team. In only 4 games, Ellis was named all-league.
After college, Ellis was signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates, where during his time in the minors due to the pressure of succeeding he became addicted to amphetamines Benzedrine and Dexamyl. Ellis would later admit he never pitched a game without the “aid” of amphetamines.
Ellis would eventually become dependent on between five and twelve capsules per game and began to use cocaine in the late 1960s. In 1968, Ellis, amazingly made his debut in the major leagues, with no one the wiser, or even ignoring, that he was abusing drugs.
Published: October 19, 2022
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