Right-hander Dock Ellis spent 12 years pitching in the big leagues from 1968-79, playing for the Pirates, Yankees, Athletics, Rangers and Mets. He is perhaps best remembered not just for throwing a no-hitter in 1970, but for throwing it while on LSD. Ellis famously admitted to be high during the game years later.
"I was in Los Angeles, and the team was playing in San Diego, but I didn't know it. I had taken LSD," said Ellis in 1984. "I thought it was an off-day, that's how come I had it in me. I took the LSD at noon."
The LSD no-hitter was so memorable that we immortalized it in bobblehead form last year.
Ellis was much more than a pitcher who chucked a no-no while on LSD though. He actively fought for players' rights and, after retiring, he counseled recovering drug addicts in treatment centers and prisons. It wasn't until his playing career was over that he got clean himself.
Ellis passed away in 2008 at the age of 63 due to liver disease. His life story -- not just his baseball career, but his entire life -- will be told in a documentary that will be featured at the 2014 Sundance Film Competition in a few weeks. The trailer for No No: A Dockumentary can be seen right here, but you are forewarned. It does include some harsh language. The film's website is right here.
Baseball has had a lot of characters throughout its history, but few were like Ellis. He was a fascinating man who represented both the pitfalls of fame and fortunate as well as all the good that can come from it. Ellis was a pitcher and a drug addict, but he also helped countless people get over their own addictions later is his life. I can't want to see the film.
(Note: The embedded video above is NOT associated with the upcoming documentary.)