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An LSD No-No

Neille Ilel

Donnell Alexander

Full Episode Audio
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Dock Ellis' stat card
(The Baseball Reliquary)
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Dock Ellis: My name is Dock Phillip Ellis Jr., better known as the first militant of professional baseball.

We flew into San Diego and I asked the manager could I go home, because we had an off day. And he said, "Yeah."

So I took some LSD at the airport because I knew where it would hit me -- I'd be in my own little area and I'd know where to go. That's how I got to my friend's girlfriend's house.

She said, "What's wrong with you?"

I said, "I'm high as a Georgia pine."

The next day -- or what I thought was the next day -- she told me, "You better get up, you gotta go pitch!"

I said, "Pitch? What are you talking about, I pitch tomorrow." Because I had got up in the middle of the morning and took some more acid.

She grabbed the paper and showed me the sports page. I said, "Oh wow! What happened to yesterday?"

She said, "I don't know but you better get to that airport."

Now this was in the 1970s and "greenies" was Dexamyl. That was the drug of choice back then, a stimulant.

When I got to the game, there was a lady down there in San Diego, used to always have the bennies for me -- Benzedrine -- another stimulant. I went out to the dugout and reached up, because she was standing over the rail -- she always stood over the rail -- and had a pretty little gold pouch.

So I got the bennies, went on back in the clubhouse, took them.

The game started and a mist started, a misty rain. So all during the game was a little mist. The opposing team and my teammates, they knew I was high, but they didn't know what I was high on. They had no idea what LSD was other than what they see on TV with the hippies.

I didn't see the hitters. All I could tell was if they were on the right side or the left side. The catcher put tape on his fingers so I could see the signals.

There were times when the ball was hit back at me, I jumped because I thought it was coming fast, but the ball was coming slow. Third baseman came by and grabbed the ball, threw somebody out.

I never caught a ball from the catcher with two hands, because I thought that was a big ol' ball! And then sometimes it looks small. One time I covered first base, and I caught the ball and I tagged the base, all in one motion and I said, "Oh, I just made a touchdown."

We had a rookie on the team at that particular time named Dave Cash, and he kept saying after the first inning, "you got a no-no going"--a no-hitter.

I said, "Yeah, right," and I'd look.

Then around the forth inning he'd say it again. "You got a no-no going."

I look. "Yep."

But I could also feel the pressure from other players wanting to tell him to shut up. It's a superstition thing where you're not supposed to say nothing if somebody's throwin' a no-hitter. It's bad luck.

I didn't pay no attention to the score, you know. I'm trying to get the batters out. And I'm throwin' a crazy game. I'm hittin' people, walkin' people, throwin' balls in the dirt. They going everywhere!

It was easier to pitch with the LSD because I was so used to medicating myself. That's the way I was dealing with the fear of failure, the fear of losing, the fear of winning. Over 90 percent of the Major League was using Dexamyl when I was playing. It was part of the game, you know.

Announcer: Everybody in our bullpen is standing, walking around nervously. They wanna run and grab Dock. Now two balls and two strikes, and here's the pitch. Strike three! A no hitter! They're goin' after him. He got it! They're mobbing Dock Ellis on a no-hitter. They're from all over the place. They got him on a strikeout!

  • Music Bridge:
    Dock Ellis No No Song
    Artist: Chuck Broadsky
    CD: The Baseball Ballads (ChuckBrodsky.com)


  • Comment | Refresh

  • By Johnb149 Johnb149

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    By Martin Gorten

    From Dover, DE, 02/12/2012

    The people who freak out or jump off buildings thinking they can fly are nuts to begin with. They would have done stupid things regardless of whether they were on LSD or not.
    I knew plently of people who took massive doses or did LSD very often, and they were fine.

    I also knew people who freaked out, and those people were basket cases to begin with. They would have eventually freaked out later anyway, because they were not mentally or emotionally or spiritually stable individuals.

    The normal, emotionally, mentally and spiritually mature and stable folks never had a problem with LSD.

    By ENT Instruments

    From New York, NY, 02/03/2012

    I really like this site, its such a nice site. ENT Instruments

    By Alita Bowder

    From Vancouver, WA, 11/10/2010

    I can't believe it's been a year since this came out. Sometimes truth IS stranger than fiction. You guys did a great job.

    By Ellis Dock

    From Chicago, IL, 11/09/2010

    I took LSD and found at best its an anti-anxiety medication. I experienced no hallucinations, but remained undisappointed because my depression/anxiety was relieved, at least for the night. And like most nights out around punks it was nonsensical and violent, I was unmoved and calm. There's even video. Legalize it.

    By Seth Baker

    From Fairfax, CA, 03/13/2010

    Can you imagine flying in a jet plane while peaking? Total nightmare. But getting on a plane to go do something in front of more than ten thousand people -- that would just be too damn much. I would have called in sick, myself. But then again... If I truly was peaking, I would probably do whatever my girlfriend said. And I believe him about everyone in baseball being on speed. How else do you play 160 three-hour physically trying games in 175 days? Bee pollen and cranberry juice? Coffee? Nah, uh-uh, I don't think so.

    By Dino martino

    From Philly, PA, 06/25/2009

    Way to go Doc! I took my first trip in '68 STILL yippin' after all these years!

    By Nina Thorsen

    From Berkeley, CA, 12/20/2008

    RIP Dock. You played a fine game and you made The Adjustment.

    By Cowboy Neal at The Wheel

    From San Francisco, CA, 12/05/2008

    the first poster didn't dive head-first into a rock bed because he was high on LSD, he did so because he was a moron.

    i've taken high dosages of LSD (as well as other hallucinagenics [sp.?]) and have never at any point was so faded that i mis-took rock for water.

    the perceptions of people who've never taken LSD are comparably moronic... sure, there's some visual distortion but very rarely did i see something that wasn't there (i did see a helicopter with dinosaur/Gila moster-looking scales on it but this was during Drums/Space at my first Grateful Dead show so my auditory capacities were exaggerated.

    i was cognizant of my surroundings/whereabouts at ALL times; and i didn't just dose 2-3 times, i probably ate 4-5 hits every weekend for the entire summers of 89, 90 & 91.

    my point being -- your senses are acute and your mind is well-tuned if you're taking the good shit.
    Dock Ellis pitching a no-hitter on acid should come as no surprise to anyone.

    By steve winslow

    From Portland, OR, 04/03/2008

    whats up Doc? I first took acid in 1964. back when it was still legal, in ny.ny east village-sandoz acid in the sugar cube. a few years later I and my first wife were living in Laguna Beach Calif. We took a trip up to Arrowhead with about 60 other people and what was called the Mystic Brotherhood. We all dropped acid. When i was able to stand, I walked over to the edge of this cliff. It was about 35-40 ft overlooking a rock-strewn canyon. it was a beautiful summer day,and i saw concentic circles vibrating up at me from the canyon floor, like a target. It came to me that i was an arrow and that that was the center of the universe. I heard a "voice" say,"DO IT!". I dove off the cliff in a beautiful swan dive. I hit so hard on the top of my head a million zillion volts of electricity shocked my body rigid so that i must have indeed look like an arrow stuck in a target before falling over paralyzed. Hours later, I was able to walk out of there, accompanied by two narcs and my high as a kite wife. they took us to the police station for a grilling, then let us go . Some friends from the group drove us to orange county hospital where i was admitted with two crushed vertebra and a concussion ( the doctor, after looking at the x-rays, told me "YOU DIDN'T JUST CRUSH THEM... YOU POWDERED THEM!" I don't know why I didn't break my fool neck but i thinki to this day that had i known i was diving off a 40ft cliff onto rock, i would have tensed up involuntarily and i am sure I would be dead.. so congrats on your no-hitter and congrats to me on surviving my no brainer! Did i ever take acid again? Sure... just never in a "high" place. ah youth. hey we were looking for something spiritual in the 60's and early 70's. way to go doc. people have never understood the truth about hallucinogenics and they still classify them along with heroin and meth (although been known to pop a few bennies in my life too) Booze the worst drug of all if not handled right. 25.000 innocent people killed every year on american highways by DRUNK DRIVERS. GO FIGURE!

    By Darrell Taylor

    From Westminster, MD, 04/01/2008

    My wife and I were driving from the store when we heard this story. That sure was funny. Way to go Doc. I remember the fancy free Hippie Days. They sure were fun. Thanks for great radio programing. NPR makes for great listening on Saturdays.

    By Seth Barkan

    From las vegas, NV, 03/29/2008

    Absolutely wonderful story! I've heard about this before from my friends but I always waved it off as just a legend... imagine my shock when I found out that IT REALLY FRIGGING HAPPENED! WOWZAHS!

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