Animation: pitcher Dock Ellis's no-hitter while on LSD

We've posted before about Dock Ellis. He was the baseball player who in 1970 pitched a no-hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates while tripping balls on LSD. Ellis died last year. In his honor, James Blagden and Chris Isenberg animated Ellis's retelling of his acid adventure on the mound. "Dock Ellis's Legendary LSD No-Hitter animation" (Dangerous Minds)


  1. Anonymous post for obvious reasons. It’s interesting what drugs can do to you. I know a guy that went bowling on shrooms. Despite being a rather poor bowler, he managed to bowl more strikes in one game than he had ever before. But, according to that guy, it was a little too much being in public in that state, so it was limited to one game.

  2. when i was 16 i was frying HARD and the cops were chasing me (i was getting away from a party that had been raided). I was riding my friends bicycle, and it was about 1 am. i made a foolish turn into an apartment complex and was headed straight for a dead end. before i really knew what was happening, i was off the bike, running along side it, with my hand under the seat. when i got to the fence, i hurled the bike with superhuman LSD strength, clearing the 6 foot fence with room to spare. i vaulted myself over and was back riding in mere moments. I think that fence caused me to lose about 2 seconds in that epic race, and i managed to lose them, presumably because they went back to get their cars.

    not in a million years could i do that without being on something. I was 5’10” and 135lbs, a rail of a kid. LSD isn’t considered to be a performance enhancing drug, but um, you might want to ask Hendrix about that one.

  3. I always knew there was a reason the Pirates were my favorite team!

    @dculberson and nutbastard: Yes, if one knows how to handle oneself while on LSD, one can do some unusual or amazing things.
    In the 80’s, I usually wound up being an impromptu chaperone for my group of friends while in public. I could always tell if things were getting out of hand, and would make sensible decisions about the group’s welfare. I think it was due to the LSD heightening my peripheral senses. I can totally see this effect working in Doc Ellis’ favor.

  4. I’m wiping tears off my cheeks. I heard this story from a friend many years ago, and it is AWESOME to see it animated. The animation style is cherce.

  5. LSD is one of the two or three most important things I’ve done in my life.

    Yeah, I stole that line from Steve Jobs, but it is true nonetheless.

  6. I remember seeing Dock Ellis tell this story in a anit-drug movie in my health class in high school. The entire time he was telling the story, the only thing I could hear was “I took LSD and threw a no hitter” About 2-3 weeks after this I took my first hit of LSD. Irony, that this story was suppose to keep me from doing the drug and instead convinced me it was something I wanted to try.

  7. “There is a photograph taken as Dock sat in the dugout after the game. The game ball lies between his legs, his mouth hangs open, he stares blankly ahead. Zeroed out.”
    –Donald Hall, “In the Country of Baseball”

    This is a great story. A few more gems culled from Hall: The no-hitter almost never happened. Ellis had to leave his rental car in LA and catch a plane to make it back to San Diego. He barely made it, and actually missed the anthem. The first pitch didn’t even make it to the plate. Ellis was a little wild, hitting one batter and walking eight, but his fastball made up for it. Ellis said he was trying to stare down the batters, and sometimes released the ball while still staring them in the eye, which might explain some of the walks. The last pitch of the game was a curve for a strikeout “which particularly delighted Ellis”.

    I wonder if there are any players of Dock Ellis’s stripe playing today? If a contemporary pitcher dove out of the way of a (perceived) line drive, which turned out to be a dribbler that didn’t even make it to the mound, would the manager even let him stay in the game?

  8. Great treament to that story…I remember thinking it so remarkable that we could play so brilliantly on my friends seriously warped (actually warped) ping pong table. Each side had a dip in it that made it terrible to play on normally. We spent hours finessing the curves in time and space.

  9. It’s not all good. One particularly hectic full moon night, the crowning glory of a succession of particularly odd hospital admissions was the cat burglar who’d led the police on a rooftop chase while high on LSD. Unfortunately he’d come to the end of the roof and decided he could fly the 20′ to the next. We spent the rest of the night reassembling his legs from the crooked pile of blood, flesh and bone the paramedics had scraped off the concrete…

    1. Was it Lsd or the police chasing the cat burglar that made him jump? or the moon?
      so many variables….

  10. That triggered nascent brain cells not active since July 1995. Or was it June 2009? Time moves so fluidly these days.

  11. Goddamn is that every funny *LOL* … oh man *LOL* thats awesome, thanks for kicking off my friday night …

    Speaking of drugs ….

  12. I shot a game of pool that had to be professional level while on mushrooms. I suck at pool. I made 3 or 4 triple bank shots. I could “see” a laser coming out of the tip of the cue and bouncing off the balls as if they were mirrors or something. I was shooting with a hallucinated laser scope. Its the only way I was able to make the bank shots.

    Hallucinogens can really give you super powers sometimes.

  13. excellent animation. lovely molecule.

    francis crick who deduced the double-helix structure of DNA was tripping at the time of his great insight.
    and carl sagan was a pot smoker.
    imagine if we’d locked these guys up instead, we’d be a lot poorer for it.

    1. LadyKatey,

      Over here, we (both men and women) say “i’m tripping off my tits”, or just “i’m off my tits”, if that’s any better..

  14. anonymous @ 12:

    i’m reminded of chris rock on marion barry:

    “now how you gonna tell little kids to not get high — when the mayor’s on crack?”

  15. I’ve actually heard this story more than once and sometimes things are different.

    The first time I CLEARLY remember (because of the awesome phrasing) that he was hanging out with “a cat named Al Rambo” when he dropped the acid.

    Google “dock ellis al rambo” and you’ll find a ton of that version of the story.

  16. I watched the video and read the wikipedia article on “no hitter” and I’m still not sure if it’s good thing or a bad thing. Baseball is confusing.

    1. Given the tone of the end of the video + comments, I tihnk it’s a good thing, jokel. :)

      (And yes. Baseball jargon and rules are hard to get into … much like cricket.)

  17. This is one of the best things I’ve ever seen. Also @ Aeon, LSD led to the death of a cat burglar. So maybe it’s also useful in natural selection.

  18. 1. Well there was at least ONE hit, the one he put on his tongue. . .

    2. I’m curious about how he felt batting (no DH, which came three years later and was in the AL anyway); I can see him ducking out of the way of imaginary pitches, or just standing there catatonic and taking 3 straight strikes with no swing,

    3. It wasn’t a perfect game– he actually walked the bases loaded a few times.

  19. Jokel, it’s both. Bad for the team being held hitless. Extremely good (& rare) for Dock’s team. Only about 1 game in every thousand played is a no-hitter.

  20. In my wild yout’, I was right in the middle of an LSD trip with two friends. We were coming home from a night at the beach and for no earthly reason took an alternate route home. AS we drove by the house that behind mine the front porch burst into flames. We stopped for a reality check and sure enough, hot flaming reality.

    We ended up saving the family of three who lived there, who had already been overcome by smoke when we broke into their house and dragged them out. The house burned down, all the paint peeled off their car and in all the neighborhood gossip, no one mentioned that they had been dragged out by strangers in the middle of the night until about three days later.

    Also. It was the night before Easter and we had been joking about finding God.

  21. You always hear about the story of a dude getting arrested by the cops on acid because he was swinging 20 feet high on a traffic light. While he didn’t get caught by the cops, at the time when my cousin climbed the light and hung above the middle of an interaction it seemed like a perfectly fine idea. After that we jumped between tables at a burger king that were clearly 15 feet apart, scrounged for pennies behind a 711 to buy a cigarette and some OJ and slept under a semi truck in a parking lot. It was one of the most comfortable places I have even laid my head. If I could have only saved that dose…. amazing.

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