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Doc Ellis' 1970 No Hitter
Original Author Unknown
Maintained and Updated by Erowid

You may have heard about "no-hitter" that Bob Milacki's of the Oakland A's pitched last week. No-hitters are pretty rare and this one made the news everywhere. One of the local TV stations refered to it as Milacki's "no-no," a term that originated with Dock Ellis's no-hitter back on June 12th, 1970 for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Dock pitched that game on acid. Reportedly he wrote about the experience in his authobiography (Dock Ellis in the Country of Baseball) published in 1976. Here are some interesting excerpts from an account of the game in the August 1987 issue of High Times magazine and from a Lysergic World article from 1993.

"Dock woke up late. Why shouldn't he? As far as he knew, the team had an off day and he planned to take full advantage of it. Three hits of LSD were ready and waiting in the refrigerator."

"A few minutes later, his girlfriend returned with coffee, donuts, and the morning paper. At noon, they dropped acid. Dock put on a record, while his girlfriend read the paper."

"Dock, it says here you're pitching today!"

"Whaaaa...? said Dock groggily. He snatched the paper, scanned the box scores, and read:

PITTSBURGH AT PADRES
DOUBLEHEADER
(6 P.M.) - Ellis (4-4) vs.
Roberts (3-3)
(LW, 1993)

"That's when it was $9.50 to fly to San Diego. She got me to the airport at 3:30. I got there at 4:30, and the game started at 6:05pm. It was a twi-night doubleheader. (HT, 1987)

He makes it to the game and after having someone help him find his locker, he suits up and enters the game.

"Dave Roberts, the Padres' pitcher, had an easy first inning, ending with Roberto Clemente hitting one back to the box. Dock marched to the mound, wondering if he'd last the inning. (LW, 1993)

"His fingers tingled as he squeezed the ball. He squinted to see catcher Jerry May's hand signals. He nodded his head and went into his windup, falling slightly off balance in the process. The ball hit the ground about two feet in front of the plate and skipped into May's glove.

"May signaled for a fastball outside. Dock wound up and threw a hot one over the the corner of the plate - a swinging strike! In was no ordinary pitch: The ball burst from Dock's hand and left a blazing, cometlike tail that remained visible long after the ball was caught.

"Dock felt wobbly on the mound and his stomach was churning with acid cramps. His concentration, however, was superb. As long as he kept to his fastball, the comets kept burning across the plate. All he had to do was steer the ball down the multicolored path. Dock had a crazed look in his eyes and his lack of control was evident to the batters, many of whom were feeling increasingly vulnerable in the batter's box. Dock easily retired three batters in a row [in the second inning]. (HT, 1987)

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. 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." (LW, 1993)
The seventh inning:

"The Pirates were clinging to their 1-0 lead. Dock was staring at the scoreboard when he realized he'd pitched hitless ball for seven innings. He smacked Cash on the arm.

"Hey, look," said Dock, pointing at the scoreboard. "I've got a no-no going!"

Cash gave him a blank look. "A no-no?" asked Cash. He'd never heard the term before. But Cash wanted to keep the pitcher loose and happy, so he smiled and said nothing.

Doc Ellis went on to finished the game without a hit. The Pirates won the game, 2-0, despite Ellis walking eight batters. Dock had a pretty good year in 1970. He went 13-10, and helped the Pirates win their first of three divisional championships.

See audio and video recordings:
Doc Ellis "I Pitched a No-Hitter on LSD" Street Inteview
No Mas Presents: Dock Ellis & The LSD No-No by James Blagden