Dock Ellis was an American Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher. He played most of his 12-year career for the Pittsburgh Pirates (1968-1975, 1979). Ellis threw a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres on June 12, 1970. He later stated that he accomplished the feat under the influence of LSD. In 1971, Ellis was a starting pitcher in the All-Star Game and his Pirates won the 1971 World Series. Five years later, he helped lead the Yankees to the 1976 World Series and was named the American League Comeback Player of the Year in the process. Ellis was an outspoken individual who advocated for the rights of players and African Americans. He also had a substance abuse problem, and he acknowledged after his retirement that he never pitched without the use of drugs. Ellis was born on this day in 1945 and died in 2008 at the age of 63.
Note: Watch the charming animated short by No Mas and artist James Blagden about Dock Ellis’ legendary LSD no-hitter. It’s worth four minutes of your time.