Throwing a no-hitter in baseball is one of the toughest feats in sports — now imagine someone doing that on acid. This is what happened to the Pirates’ pitcher Dock Ellis.
On Friday, June 12, 1970, the 25-year-old Ellis took to the mound against the San Diego Padres. Ellis had reportedly visited a friend in Los Angeles the day before, and used LSD multiple times. Thinking it was Thursday, he took another hit of LSD hours before he was supposed to pitch. Upon being reminded where he was supposed to be, Ellis flew from LA to San Diego, and arrived 9 minutes before he was supposed to pitch.
And, even though he reportedly couldn’t even feel the ball, he went on to throw a no-hitter. Catcher Jerry May even wore reflective tape around his fingers, so Ellis could see the signals he was throwing.
Ellis later recalled, “I could only remember bits and pieces of the game. I was psyched — I had a feeling of euphoria. The ball was small sometimes, the ball was large sometimes. Sometimes I saw the catcher, sometimes I didn’t. Sometimes I tried to stare the hitter down and throw while I was looking at him. I chewed my gum until it turned into powder. I started having a crazy idea in the fourth inning that Richard Nixon was the home plate umpire, and I once thought I was pitching a baseball to Jimmy Hendricks, who, to me, was holding a guitar and swinging at the plate.”