Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, August 23, 2012

OTL: The Long, Strange Trip of Dock Ellis

When Ellis arrived at San Diego Stadium about 4:30 in the afternoon, he swallowed a handful of uppers—Dexamyl pills, known as “Greenies”—then walked to the dugout, where a female acquaintance was waiting by the railing.

The woman had a gold pouch, small and pretty. Inside were “Bennies.” Benzedrine pills. Another stimulant. Ellis took some, part of his usual pregame routine. The Pirates suspected Ellis was on something but weren’t entirely sure because the pitcher always acted a little nuts.

The evening was dreary. Mist and drizzle. The ballpark was mostly empty. The Padres were lousy, a year removed from their inaugural campaign, a light-hitting club that ultimately lost 99 games. Ellis struck out six batters. He walked eight. He hit Padres center fielder Ivan Murrell with a pitch. In the HBO footage, silent and incomplete, Ellis sporadically slips and stumbles during his follow-through. He later recalled a sense of euphoria. Sometimes, the ball felt big. Like a balloon. Sometimes, it felt small. Like a golf ball. Ellis couldn’t always see the hitters—nor his catcher, Jerry May. He focused on May’s fingers, wrapped with reflective tape. He remembered pitching erratically, balls in the dirt, the Padres batting scared, ducking and diving, hitting off the ends of their bats.

In the dugout, Ellis ignored the stadium scoreboard. He concentrated on cleaning his muddy spikes. His superstitious teammates avoided eye contact, except for rookie second baseman Dave Cash.

“You got a no-no going,” Cash said.

“Yeah, right,” Ellis replied.

The article in High Times reported that Ellis saw a comet tail behind his pitches and a multicolored path to May. A few years ago, The New York Times claimed that Ellis saw Nixon behind the plate, calling balls and strikes. So goes the myth. The old baseball card, passed around anew. On the game’s final pitch, Ellis struck out pinch hitter Ed Spiezio with a curveball. He spun around on the mound and screamed, “A m——-f—-ing no-no!”

Or so he claimed to remember. Fact is, Ellis didn’t remember much: When sportscaster Curt Gowdy interviewed him the next day during a nationally televised game, the pitcher was still blotted out, as high as a Georgia pine.

This was by design.

People have got to know that their umpire is not a crook. Well, Tony Venzon is not a crook!

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 23, 2012 at 04:30 PM | 8 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dock ellis, drug use, no-hitters, pirates

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Bruce Markusen Posted: August 23, 2012 at 07:15 PM (#4216305)
Looking forward to seeing this. Dock was one of a kind.
   2. Steve Treder Posted: August 23, 2012 at 07:29 PM (#4216318)
Picture yourself in a boat on a river, with tangerine trees and marmalade skies.
   3. AndrewJ Posted: August 23, 2012 at 09:03 PM (#4216383)
The guy who persuaded Dock to go public with his "no-hitter on LSD" story was David L. Lander, veteran MLB scout and best known as "Squiggy" on Laverne & Shirley.
   4. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: August 23, 2012 at 09:05 PM (#4216385)
Recommended reading.
   5. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: August 23, 2012 at 11:00 PM (#4216429)
Recommended reading.
And one of the more creative layouts I've seen for a Web article.
   6. Bruce Markusen Posted: August 23, 2012 at 11:24 PM (#4216445)
I met David Lander a few years back. A nice man and a huge baseball fan. He really knows the game.
   7. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: August 23, 2012 at 11:28 PM (#4216447)
5: yeah, that really struck me. mostly (not entirely) in a good way.
   8. phredbird Posted: August 25, 2012 at 10:44 AM (#4217778)
this layout is cool.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Jim Wisinski
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogSpector: Stats incredible! Numbers from the 2014 MLB season will amaze you
(68 - 10:59pm, Oct 01)
Last: Booey

NewsblogNL WILD CARD 2014 OMNICHATTER
(255 - 10:58pm, Oct 01)
Last: Into the Void

NewsblogLinkedIn: 10 Sales Lessons From “The Captain”
(22 - 10:55pm, Oct 01)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogBaseball Will Test Out Six New Rules To Speed Up The Game
(35 - 10:50pm, Oct 01)
Last: Shibal

NewsblogAdam Dunn, 34, calls it a career
(69 - 10:46pm, Oct 01)
Last: Booey

NewsblogPosnanski: The Beauty of Belief [Royals win Wild Card, headed to ALDS]
(6 - 10:42pm, Oct 01)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

NewsblogFangraphs (Sullivan): How Jarrod Dyson Stole The Biggest Base Of His Life
(13 - 10:39pm, Oct 01)
Last: RoyalsRetro (AG#1F)

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - October 2014
(21 - 10:34pm, Oct 01)
Last: Norcan

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(490 - 10:25pm, Oct 01)
Last: frannyzoo

NewsblogWSJ: Scoring in Baseball Is Down. Blame the Umpires A Study Found That Umpires Have Expanded Their Strike Zone in Recent Years
(2 - 10:22pm, Oct 01)
Last: Walt Davis

NewsblogDayton Moore's vision for Kansas Royals validated - ESPN
(46 - 10:10pm, Oct 01)
Last: bookbook

NewsblogA’s wild swing of a season ends in wild-card loss to Royals
(30 - 10:09pm, Oct 01)
Last: Walks Clog Up the Bases

NewsblogNed Yost on the sixth inning and his bullpen usage: “its just one of those things” | HardballTalk
(109 - 10:02pm, Oct 01)
Last: toratoratora

NewsblogOT: Politics, October 2014: Sunshine, Baseball, and Etch A Sketch: How Politicians Use Analogies
(137 - 9:52pm, Oct 01)
Last: bobm

NewsblogThe Baseball Show with Rany Jazayerli and Joe Sheehan - 9/29/14
(2 - 9:41pm, Oct 01)
Last: Harveys Wallbangers

Page rendered in 0.2122 seconds
52 querie(s) executed