I had no idea Dock Ellis played for the Athletics. Of course, it was before my time; and I’m sure a lot of other nerds didn’t know as well since Doc only spent two forgettable months with the Oakland club in 1977, posting a 1-5 record with a 9.69 ERA. Legend has it that it was his job to jot down the pitching charts in those pre-computer, pre-Steve Jobs days. (It was probably before Jobs had even gotten laid; he was 22.) Doc didn’t think too highly of this position and subsequently burned the charts in the locker room. He was eventually traded to Texas that same season.
Unless you’ve been on the moon the past few years or so, Dock recently received minor fame for pitching a no-hitter while on LSD for the Pirates in 1970, (I wont bore you with the details) reminding me of my own experimentation as a young man. I grew up in California; land of the hippie dress, recycled bottles, veganism, the breathtaking sea view, the rich yuppie asshole and the meth epidemic. It was almost a right of passage to smoke a bowl out of your “righteous” hand-blown glass pipe and listen to the fucking Eagles, man. I had a friend who took a couple of doses one cheery night. He tried to fight my neighbors, who he had never met, and then laid down to enjoy the musical stylings of Santana for the next 8 hours….nonstop.
Do I have my doubts about Ellis’ claim? Perhaps. But then again this is definitely THE most fucked up sport; (besides cricket) the sport where players can get mind-fucked and get their tiny capitalistic self esteem shattered within mere moments. Perhaps ol’ Dock was cruising on tolerance, muscle memory and racial strife. These motherfuckers were CRUISING on “greenies” half the time anyway, and the world was “changing”. (which begs the question…did the hippies “save” physics?)
What I found is that the counterculture owes many of its ideals, and particularly its understanding of how media shapes people, to a generation earlier that really came to life during World War II. In the ’60s psychedelic counterculture boomed. People surrounded themselves with psychedelic media – videos, art, installations – thinking that it would turn them into a different kind of person, perhaps make them more personally satisfied and psychologically fulfilled. Culturally and ideologically, much of this came from the previous decades and was not a spontaneous counter-cultural emergence, but now it had a more visual representation. Isn’t this everything to a homo sapien? And does this absolutely validate Neitzsche’s “God is dead?” or was it just visual representation of “God’s” majesty? Was “She” on Ellis’ side on that fateful day of June 12, 1970, guiding his no doubt methamphetamine laced arm to victory? Who knows? Who cares? This is that point in time when you nut up….you chose a team, a wife, a house, whether or not to kill yourself, maybe a job…and your fundamental questions eventually come up with their own self satisfied conclusions. Alas, this is just some random dumb shit baseball blog. I don’t have answers. All I have are questions and a fake baseball card. Happy Memorial Day… R.I.P. Wendell James Crosby