We’ve got something a little bit different for our Web Pick this week. It’s a great video that has been doing the rounds for the last couple of months, but even if you’ve seen it already, I’m sure you won’t mind it getting another mention.
On 12 June 1970, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis turned up at the Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego and pitched a no-hitter against the Padres. That’s a worthy feat to celebrate in any case, but what makes this no-no stand out is that Ellis was not exactly on top of his game. In fact, he was out of his tree, off his head, “high as a Georgia Pine” or any other phrase you might wish to use. The episode has been immortalised in various songs in the past, but it has now become the subject of a brilliant animated video.
The records show that Ellis walked eight batters and hit one other during the nine innings, while also allowing three stolen bases. For whatever reason, the Padres were unable to take advantage of those base runners, not to mention Ellis’ spaced-out state, and two solo home runs by Willie Stargell were enough to win the game for the Pirates by a score of 2-0.
This was Ellis’s third season in the Majors and he went on to have a twelve-year career in the Big Leagues. He helped the Pirates win the National League East in the season after his no-hitter, winning nineteen games, starting the All-Star Game for the NL and finishing fourth on the Cy Young award ballot. He lasted just 2.1 innings in the World Series opener against the Baltimore Orioles and didn’t pitch again in the series, but the Pirates won the Fall Classic 4-3 and Ellis had certainly earned his ring over the course of the season.
That’s not what he’ll be remembered for though.