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."
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.