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Best Baseball Songs Ever: SF Seals – Dock Ellis

April 4, 2011

SF Seals – Dock Ellis

"sometimes I saw the catcher, sometimes I didn't"

On June 12, 1970, Dock Ellis performed the greatest single-game achievement in baseball history when he pitched a no-hitter while on acid.  He was also under the influence of speed, many ballplayers’ drug of choice in the 1960s and 70s (now they enjoy their amphetamine boost via Ritalin), while LSD was and is still only considered a performance-enhancing drug when playing the guitar.

Ellis was “effectively wild” that afternoon in San Diego, walking eight batters and hitting one. Dock would later recount, “I started having a crazy idea in the fourth inning that Richard Nixon was the home plate umpire, and once I thought I was pitching a baseball to Jimi Hendrix, who to me was holding a guitar and swinging it over the plate.”

The SF Seals, named after the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League, provide the best and most compelling anthem to commemorate this monumental event, their fuzzed-out guitars providing a delirious compliment to the insane thoughts which were clearly pulsing through Dock Ellis’s mind. “Take a trip one summer’s day / Don’t forget you have to play … ”

Ellis would later become a drug counselor, which I assume meant he counseled people to take drugs. It’s got to be kind of hard to tell a kid not to get high when you were lit up like the 4th of July and threw a no-hitter.

SF Seals – Dock Ellis MP3
The brilliant animated video made by James Blagden using an interview with Dock is a must-see.

Honorable mention goes to Todd Snider’s “America’s Favorite Past Time” for his take on Dock’s infamous trip.

Todd Snider – America’s Favorite Past Time MP3

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