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camelclutchblog.com: Before Steroids, Baseball Had Dock Ellis and LSD


polywog999

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http://camelclutchblog.com

Forget the admitting of steroid use by many of todays big time players. Let’s not even ponder thoughts of what the game would be like without them because, as much as we hate to digest it, it is real. Forget the Cansecos, McGwires, A-Rods, and the hundreds of others with the “cheater” label now casted upon them. Yes, long before all of this some 40 years ago to be exact, there was Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis, and LSD. You think towering home runs are a feat? How about throwing a no hitter while on drugs? Yes the colorful Ellis made, “bizarre” an art form.

The day was June 12th, 1970 in sunny San Diego, California. The Pittsburgh Pirates are scheduled to play a double header against the Padres, and the pitcher for the first of those two games was Ellis. The only problem was that Ellis was out partying all through the night and into next morning with friends from the area. In fact it was the girlfriend of one of his pals that had reminded him that he was scheduled to pitch that day.

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“I remember her flipping through the newspaper and saying, baby you are pitching today”. So Ellis, still high as a kite from hits of LSD, got himself to the ballpark, and in fact made his way to the mound. The claims stem out like crazy. Many would go on to say that Ellis was straight up tripping right on the mound. He has stated how he scored drugs from a regular San Diego connection who was sitting in the first row at the stadium that day. Ellis himself claimed ”

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“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. I started having a crazy idea in the fourth inning that Richard Nixon was the home plate umpire, 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. They say I had about three to four fielding chances. I remember diving out of the way of a ball I thought was a line drive. I jumped, but the ball wasn’t hit hard and never reached me. I recall covering first base and catching the ball and tagging the bag all in one motion and thinking to myself Touchdown!”
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I have no idea if he was truly tripping during the game. Sounds like the most bazaar sports story I have ever heard.

To me it doesn't sound like Dock was 'peaking' or experiencing acid like most of us would assume he was. The way he describes it, I think he was kind of in this lucid/loopy in-and-out state where certain aspects of his perception were being altered randomly.

When you mix drugs-- a lot of the time-- the 'new' drug (in his case, the 'bennies') can trigger effects from the other drug (LSD) even if you aren't still feeling superhigh from the first one.

I believe he was tripping a little, it was raining a little, he got some help from his fielders, and things worked out pretty well for him. Really awesome story no matter what.

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To me it doesn't sound like Dock was 'peaking' or experiencing acid like most of us would assume he was. The way he describes it, I think he was kind of in this lucid/loopy in-and-out state where certain aspects of his perception were being altered randomly.

When you mix drugs-- a lot of the time-- the 'new' drug (in his case, the 'bennies') can trigger effects from the other drug (LSD) even if you aren't still feeling superhigh from the first one.

I believe he was tripping a little, it was raining a little, he got some help from his fielders, and things worked out pretty well for him. Really awesome story no matter what.

I thought it was pretty cool too!

The PC crowd will be here soon to behead me, though....

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A lot of players in the 50's-90's abused greenies (amphetamines).

But it's hardly ever talked about. Those were the good ol' days, remember?

That is a very good point, Evil. Everyone knows this, but no one is talking about it. Indeed they did. Discuss....

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i've heard other versions where he took the LSD shortly before finding out he had to pitch, and the effects were peaking during the game. adrenaline tends to suppress the hallucinations, so his description sounds pretty much what i would expect it to sound like.

it'd certainly be no athletic advantage to be tripping balls while trying to pitch. the fact that he got a no hitter may be one of the most amazing feats in baseball history. as a professional pitcher, i guess his muscles and brain had the motions so ingrained in them that little enough conscious thought was involved that he could get the job done despite the fact his brain was doing loop de loops.

By the way, Ellis was always an absurdly wild and dangerous pitcher:

Ellis single-handedly decided to break the Pirates out of their emotional slump, announcing that "We gonna get down. We gonna do the do. I’m going to hit these m*****f******." True to his word, in the first inning of the first regular-season game he pitched against the Reds, Ellis hit leadoff batter Pete Rose in the ribs, then plunked Joe Morgan in the kidney, and loaded the bases by hitting Dan Driessen in the back. Tony Perez, batting cleanup, dodged a succession of Ellis’ pitches to walk and force in a run. The next hitter was Johnny Bench. "I tried to deck him twice," Ellis recalled. "I threw at his jaw, and he moved. I threw at the back of his head, and he moved." At this point, Pittsburgh manager Danny Murtaugh removed Ellis from the game.
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