The Dock Ellis Acid Test

It is one of the best stories in baseball lore: On June 12, 1970, Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis pitched the season’s first no-hitter against the San Diego Padres. He would later admit that he was under the influence of LSD at the time. To hear Ellis recount the tale is perhaps one of the greatest joys of being a baseball fan.

In 2011, Deadspin editor A.J. Daulerio, who is not so good at Xbox baseball, attempted to throw a no-hitter while on LSD — playing a customized Dock Ellis in MLB 2K11 on Xbox.

The experiment ends with the result you’d expect, unfortunately, not the one you probably want. But the journey to get there is a humorous read. And it’s funny to think Daulerio got paid to drop acid and play video games all day.

The first couple games went quickly, as I struggled to get through the top of the lineup. One thing I’d overlooked was that in 1970, Dock Ellis had not been responsible for steering the other eight players on the field. I gave up cheap hits mostly because my Andrew McCutchen either stood stationary or took off in a dead sprint toward the right field wall whenever a perfectly catchable pop fly came his direction.

But by the fourth game I started to pick up tendencies in all the batters. Jason Bartlett swung at first-pitch changeups. Will Venable couldn’t hit the palm ball. In fact, most of these free-swinging Padres couldn’t hit Dock’s funky palm ball. I threw it often. But by then, also, the first acid distractions entered: the TV flickered; the cracks in the wall started to move; the hand soap started to breathe — those sorts of things. Plus I was drawn to the outdoor garden between innings. Rain was near, I sensed.

Bloody brilliant idea. [via kottke]

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