Monday, September 22, 2008

Screwball

Fall beckons, baseball season is winding down, and the Mets are yet again slouching toward their annual late season collapse. With that in mind, here's the perfect trivia question to throw out there next time you're at a bar watching a baseball game:

Q: Who is the only man to ever throw a no-hitter while on acid?

A: Dock Ellis.

Baseball is full of apocryphal stories, but this really happened. On June 12, 1970, Mr. Ellis thought he had the day off, and so indulged in a little recreational drug use with his girlfriend by dropping a tab of LSD. Starting pitchers only pitch every fifth day, so he figured it was no big deal. Until he got to the park and found out he was scheduled to pitch. Not only did he pitch, he pitched a no-hitter, which is very, very hard to do. Here's his description of what it was like, which I stole from Wikipedia:

"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."

Trippy.


Dock was a pretty nutty guy. He once tried to hit every batter in the Cincinnati Reds line-up. I don't know why. He hit the first three, to load the bases. The fourth batter was able to avoid getting hit and walked, walking in a run. After he threw at the next batter's head on two straight pitches, he was pulled from the game.

Surprisingly, his lifetime numbers are pretty good. A win-loss record of 138-119. An earned run average of 3.46. And 1,136 career strikeouts.

Not surprisingly, he was at one point a Met. They'll pretty much take whoever they can get.

7 comments:

Nancy Dancehall said...

I wonder if that strategy would work on my next chem test; drop some acid and try to hit the instructor.
Then again, maybe not.

We had a fabulous weekend with you guys! Now D wants to be a scientist.

Victoria Gothic said...

Wow, that's awesome. Pretty amazing for a guy on acid. But you see, that's just it, isn't it Clowncar? Why look into anything else when baseball has everything? Baseball has drinking, acid, other drugs, and stories of every little niche you could think of. Hmm... That could make an interesting case study for my Psych class...

Mother of Invention said...

Yikes! I can't imagine doing drugs if you don't have to! I've done several injections a day since I was 13 and OD'd once on Talwin, a pain reliever they gave me in the hospital, and I tripped out so bad I couldn't keep a solid image in my brain...it kept melting as if someone poured hot water on cold jello! Scary stuff!

oldone said...

Clowncar, with a feat like that he should have earned a baseball nickname; like Juice, Shitcan, Dopey or maybe Crazy.

Clowncar said...

Drop acid next time you dissect a body, D'ancy. Now that would be fun. Or cause permanent trauma.

Exactly Vic. The whole history of the country, from racism to labor unions to the drug-soaked 60s, are mirrored in baseball.

Scary, Moi! Though that "pouring hot water on cold jello" is a pretty cool image. Glad you survived!

Shitcan Ellis is a fine baseball name, OO. Windowpane Ellis is also good. Do they call it that anymore?

Noel said...

I was just talking to my ex's brother about being under the influence and how it affects people. He's a huge stoner and he says he concentrates more when he's high because he knows he's high and has to compensate. I wonder if that was a case of this happening.

Daisy said...

So did they decide to p punish him by putting a really crappy photo on his baseball card that makes it look like he's got gorilla arms and one leg?

(Speaking of gorillas -- watched 1933 Kong last night and have a request for "cheesy" Godzilla next. Recommendations?)

Daisy