Famed Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis died yesterday. He was 63.
Ellis is said to have passed due to liver problems.
Dock is famous in Pittsburgh because of his quiet, unassuming demeanor. He never did anything to ruffle any feathers, and never pitched under the influence of drugs.
And if you believe any of that nonsense, then you need to read about the man.
Ellis famously pitched a no-hitter under the influence of LSD, and spoke out on many social topics. He spoke out on race during his career, and was a supporter of the Pirates fans walkout in the summer of ’07. My favorite Ellis story, other than the LSD no-hitter, is when he tried to hit every batter in the Reds lineup in order to motivate his team. He beaned 1-2-3 hitters Pete Rose, Joe Morgan and Dan Driessen, before failing to hit Tony Perez (he walked him). He threw a few pitches at 5-spot hitter Johnny Bench’s head before Pirates manager Dany Murtaugh pulled Ellis.
Without recording an out, Ellis’ line looked like this: 0 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K. Fantastic.
Ellis will never be forgotten in Pittsburgh, and his legend will live on no matter how much the Pirates suck nowadays.
Rest in Peace, Dock!