I’ve been in the car all day which has limited my chance to post this, but Dock Ellis died last night at the age of 63 and even for someone that never saw him pitch a day for the Pirates, this is some sad news. The PG obit is full of laudatory quotes and importantly points out that while most people remember Ellis for throwing a no-hitter on LSD, he spent most of the 80s helping other players prevent and fight substance abuse. In a post below, AppealToSmail shares his favorite Ellis memory:
He pitched my first visit to Three Rivers Stadium on Roberto Clemente night. He was a hell of a pitcher. There’s so many stories about him but my favorite is when Murtaugh put him in to pinch run (during spring training I believe) he ran out in a Steeler jacket. The umpire told him take it off and he had no shirt under it. His irreverence was so much fun in contrast to Tom Seaver and other clean cut pitchers of his time.
Me? I’ll always remember him for showing up and talking at the protest two summers ago. When some players were complaining about the fans not supporting them, Ellis understood that we weren’t upset about the players at all. Put simply, the man was a Pittsburgh Pirate through and through and as a fan, I’ll miss that.