MLB: Dock Ellis Received Special Help when He No-Hit the San Diego Padres

by on November 18th, 2014
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Dock Ellis was at his girl friend’s home in Los Angeles on June 12, 1970. At about 12 noon, he ingested some LSD, a psychedelic drug. He thought the Pittsburgh Pirates weren’t scheduled to play that day.

About one hour after he had taken the LSD, Ellis’ girl friend discovered that the Pirates were scheduled to play a twilight double header in San Diego starting at 6:05. To complicate the situation, the big right-hander was scheduled to start the first game of the twin bill.

Always a team player, Ellis flew from Los Angeles to San Diego in time to make his start. Years later, in 1984, Ellis revealed that he had pitched that night while under the influence of LSD.

“I can only remember bits and pieces of the game. I was psyched. I had a feeling of euphoria 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.”

Based on the above ramblings, there is little chance that Bud Selig would ever want to test players for the use of LSD.

The game was close. Willie Stargell hit solo home runs in the second and seventh innings for the only two runs as the Pirates won, 2-0. Ellis issued eight walks, hit a batter and struck out six.

After the game, he told reporters that he started thinking about a no-hitter as early as the fourth inning.

“I know guys who don’t want to talk about it,” said Ellis, “but if you’re going to throw it, you’re going to throw it. The ball I was throwing was moving. I was keeping the ball away from the hitters. That’s why I walked so many.”

Ellis had a close call in the seventh inning when Ramon Webster hit a low line drive between first and second, but Bill Mazeroski caught the ball a few inches off the ground as the Padres fans cheered. They wanted to see a no-hitter.

It’s impossible to determine how the LSD affected Ellis six to eight hours after he took it. The amount that Ellis ingestged would influence how long its effects would last. Estimates range that an LSD ‘trip” can last anywhere from six to 17 hours.

Ellis used drugs other than LSD, including alcohol, which eventually led to his death in 2008.

At the time of the revelation in 1984 that he had been under the influence of LSD when he pitched his no-hitter, Ellis was the coordinator of a Los Angeles anti-drug program.


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