Dock Ellis “D”: Story of Pirates Pitcher who Threw a No-Hitter on Acid


There have been approximately just 300 no hit games pitched in the history of baseball, a sport that goes all the way back to the 1870s. Of all those no-hitters, only one was achieved while tripping balls on LSD.

Yes, lysergic acid, or “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” was one of many controlled substances in the bloodstream of Dock Ellis on June 12, 1970. The Pittsburgh Pirates hurler, known for not never pitching sober in his career, and a frequent user of “greenies,” dexamills and other metamphetamines, tossed a no no that night against the San Diego Padres. Listen below as we tell you the tale, in the 17th episode of “Let’s Get Weird, Sports.”

Dock Ellis would later go on to say that he regretted taking acid that day, as it deprived him of clear memories of his greatest professional achievement. It was a night in which he said he could not see the batters, but only tell if they were right or left-handed.

He also thought he saw President Richard Nixon in attendance, and pitched to Jimi Hendrix, who was using a guitar as a bad. Spoiler alert: those things didn’t happen!

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly appears on WGN CLTV and co-hosts the “Let’s Get Weird, Sports” podcast on SB Nation.

You can follow Banks, a former writer for NBC and Chicago on Twitter here and his cat on Instagram at this link

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