Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Remember Dock Phillip Ellis

Dock Phillip Ellis Born on March 11, 1945 in Los Angeles, California.

He passed away the other day. I don't recall the actual date. He was 63.

He claimed to have pitched his only no-hitter while under the influence of LSD. In that game, versus the San Diego Padres, he issued eight (8) bases on balls.

His career won/loss record was 138-119 with an earned run average (ERA) of 3.46, from 1968 thru 1979 inclusive.

His best season was 1971. That season he fininshed 19-9 with the World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates. 1971 was the only year he made an All-Star appearance and what a memorable one it was. Dock was the pitcher who served up that prodigious home run to Reginald Martinez Jackson at Tiger Stadium. You know, the one that caromed off of the light tower!

It was also 1971 that an impressionable boy got an autograph from #17 Dock Ellis. Mr. Ellis, as I called him, made quite an impression on me. Made me feel worthy of having his signature. Unlike the inimical behavior of Willie "Pops" Stargell. Stargell was not amused and said as much as he scrawled Stargell in my autograph book. I knew Stargell was good but after the way he went about signing a kid's book I lost interest in him. If I had idolized him it would have been a crushing blow that day at Candlestick Park.

Dock Ellis had nothing to do with the San Francisco Giants. Probably beat them more than they beat him when it was his day to pitch. But he provided a valuable lesson to yours truly that I cannot let go unnoticed.

It just made me realize that I don't necessarily have to idolize the players but to just appreciate what they do. And if they're nice to people I want to root for them. Not against them, like I did whenever I heard Stargell's name mentioned. To me, Wilver Stargell was a bum! In the same class as most umpires.

(thanks to Baseball-Reference and Yahoo Sports for some info on Dock Ellis)

Kevin Marquez