Monday, November 16, 2009

no-hitter...with a little assist

This is the stuff of legend. If you are any kind of baseball fan, then you have heard the story of Dock Ellis and the no-hitter he threw while tripping on acid. To me, it was always one of those semi-tall tales, a story that everyone knew, but no one could back up. Like spider eggs in Bubblicious or something.

(Does anyone else remember that? Or am I just that ancient?)

Even if you aren't a hardcore fan of baseball, you have to understand how insanely rare it is for a pitcher to throw a no-hitter. According to that Wiki thing, only 263 have ever occurred in over 130-plus years of record-keeping in the major leagues. It's not the same as a perfect game, which means no runners reaching base. (As Ellis tells the story, he pegged a couple of batters and maybe walked some as well.)

But still, it is an amazing accomplishment even for a sober, well-rested pitcher. For a guy who didn't know he was pitching that day until someone pointed out his name listed in the sports section as the starting pitcher, and who ate more than one hit of badass circa-1970 LSD to step out on the mound and pull this off is downright miraculous. Even the thought of taking the field in front of all those people under those conditions is terrifying, let alone performing.

Anyway. His recounting the story here is animated and hilarious.

Ellis died of cirrhosis complications in 2008, and RIP to a rare breed. The balls on this guy would make Hunter Thompson proud.

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