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'I'm high as a Georgia pine': Dock Ellis's no-hitter on LSD, 50 years on

Baseball’s great psychedelic myth took place five decades ago, but the man behind it was far more than an amusing sidenote in the sport’s historyThe century-spanning annals of baseball are filled with accomplishments that strain credulity and force us to rethink the outer limits of human potential, like Babe Ruth’s called shot at Wrigley Field or Reggie Jackson’s three home runs on three pitches in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series. But few of these latter-day myths compare with the unthinkable feat that played out on a misty night in San Diego five decades ago this month, when a 25-year-old right-handed starter for the Pittsburgh Pirates named Dock Ellis threw a no-hitter while tripping on LSD.In some ways, Ellis’s performance for the Pirates against San Diego Padres on Friday 12 June 1970 was not exactly a pitching masterclass. Ellis recorded more walks (eight) than strikeouts (six), hit another batsman, allowed three stolen bases, and was bailed out by highlight-reel plays in the field by second baseman Bill Mazeroski and centerfielder Matty Alou. But consider the circumstances: “I started having a crazy idea in the fourth inning that Richard Nixon was the home plate umpire,” he recounted years later to the New York Times. “And once I thought I was pitching a baseball to Jimi Hendrix, who to me was holding a guitar and swinging it over the plate.”Somehow, after fanning Ed Spiezio on a curveball in the bottom of the ninth, Ellis completed his long, strange trip without surrendering a single hit in a 2-0 victory. For context: it is one of only 303 no-hitters out of the more than 210,000 games played in major league history since 1876. That alone would secure his place in baseball lore. That he did it while tripping balls almost beggars belief.This isn’t a story you will hear on a tour of Cooperstown or in any of a hidebound sport’s official histories. To this day, Major League Baseball has only released snippets of this game to the public and it’s unclear whether footage of the game in its entirety exists. Yet in time Ellis’ account of his most unusual triumph has entered the realm between fact and myth where baseball’s most indelible legends call home.With a day off on Thursday as the Pirates arrived in San Diego for their first west coast road trip of the season, Ellis decided to make the short journey to his hometown of Los Angeles, since the team didn’t play until Friday night. So he rented a car and dropped a tab of acid, timing it so it would hit right as he arrived at the home of a friend’s girlfriend. “What’s wrong with you?” she asked upon his arrival.“I’m as high as a Georgia pine,” Ellis said.The old friends caught up over heroic amounts booze and marijuana until Ellis drifted off to sleep. He dropped more acid after waking from what he thought was a catnap, believing it still to be Thursday. That’s when his friend entered Read More      

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'I'm high as a Georgia pine': Dock Ellis's no-hitter on LSD, 50 years on
'I'm high as a Georgia pine': Dock Ellis's no-hitter on LSD, 50 years on

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'I'm high as a Georgia pine': Dock Ellis's no-hitter on LSD, 50 years on

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