Sunday, September 13, 2009

A VISIT FROM AUNT BOOB: DOCK ELLIS - BASEBALLS OF FIRE


have you ever heard of this dude Dock Ellis? he was a major league pitcher in the 60s/70s, whose attitude and antics outshone his stellar athletic achievements. but still (or because of which) he has since been forgotten by the vast majority of sports journalism and fandom – i had never heard of him or a single thing he did before WFMU's post about him. the post is pretty damn long, not because of that type of biographical facturbation that a lot of hey-history-forgot-this-dude writers like to use, but instead because this guy did so much crazy shit in his lifetime that it takes 2000 words to document it all. here's a quick rundown:

  • when playing the minors in the 60s in Alabama, he was faced with a lot of racist banter from game goers, and once climbed into the stands, sat next to the offending fans and said "What happened to all those niggers up here? All those niggers calling me a nigger?"
  • once he was so hungover at a game that he was passed out in the dugout, and when it was time for him to pitch, so someone gave him some liquid amphetamine, which quickly roused him. he then never played a game without some sort of upper, and said that he got so addicted he'd have to take them even if he were just sitting on the bench.
  • playing in the minors in the DR, he heard about zombies in neighboring haiti, so he rented a jeep and drove through the haitian countryside looking for zombies. he says he saw some and tried to talk to them, but they freaked him out so he split.
  • in his most noted antic, he once pitched a no-hitter while on acid. he said he couldn't see the batter or feel the ball.
  • he made such outspoken and livid comments about the suppression of blacks in baseball that Jackie Robinson sent him a letter telling him to cool his jets.
  • he consistently pitched while wearing curlers in his hair. because of this Pete Rose sent him a copy of "All You Want to Know about Curling" (the Canadian ice sport), and he retorted with a line to the famed gambler: "Now Rose better learn to play [curling] because I'm gonna challenge him at $500 a game."
  • he was once pepper sprayed by a security guard while trying to enter a stadium he was playing at.
  • there was a game where he decided he would overtly try and hit every single batter he faced. he beaned four out of the first five batters he saw (one avoided the pitches and got a walk) before the manager took him out of the game. he was also on acid at the time.
  • continuing his pro-beaning strategy, he once threw a massive fastball right into the face of reggie jackson, shattering the infamous glasses of the-most-famous-man-in-baseball and causing his nose to bleed. jackson had to be taken out on a stretcher and ellis thought he had killed him. this was apparently retaliation for jackson hitting a home run off ellis six years before in an all-star game, a completely amiable and pointless event.
  • after leaving baseball he tried to remake American Graffiti, which he loved, into Black Graffiti, which never happened.
  • he once went to a Fatburger and got in argument with the cook about how the fatburger he was eating wasn't a real fatburger: "Bullshit. you may have that Fatburger sign up there, but i've eaten fatburgers and this is not a fatburger."
  • he spent most of his later years touring prisons on an anti-drug campaign.
okay that wasn't that quick, but there are many more details outlined in the article that add that type journalistic breadth that we here at GG avoid like swine flu on sunday. anyway here are some folk art pieces based on him, via this thing:

5 comments:

KOOL A.D. said...

i know you just g-ed someone else's article entirely but your recap game is seriously tight. what's weird is even though i can only name like five people who play sports (michael jordan, tiger woods, mannie ramirez, shaun bridgmohan, deng linlin) even i knew about dock ellis pitching a no-hitter on acid. still i didn't know about all the other CRAZY ASS SHIT this fool did and literally LOL-ed at this cafe that has the internet.

boobs said...

yeah i never thought id be the kind of blogdude who 1) wrote about real people or 2) jacked some other blogdude's blogginess, but i thought D.E. was stellar enough to exceptionalize myself from those arbitrary and unenforced rules.

one thing i forgot: when he went to buy the acid, he had written on the back windshield of his car "THE NUT". also the car was literally custom-made for a pimp.

Dap said...

yeah i knew about the no hitter but i didn't know this dude was such a nutter. a+ human being.

Kate said...

this man inspires such nice pictures

Jeff said...

now...


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QA5JwXK8R3M

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