I sure didn't know this until last night, even though I took quite a bit of LSD back in my early college days (1966-1968'ish). I learned about the marvelous achievement of Dock Ellis via an HBO presentation of a Robin Williams stand-up comedy show.
When I saw Williams tell the tale of Ellis' LSD'ized no-hitter, I laughed a lot. Sort of felt like a flashback. Maybe it was. Here's the You Tube snippet:
If you want to know the full story of how Dock Ellis came to be pitching a major league baseball game while high on LSD and benzedrine (another staple of my college years), and why wouldn't you?, check out a creative animated short by James Blagden, "Dock Ellis and the LSD No-No."
I find this story interesting for a couple of reasons, one personal and one political. Like I said, I took LSD quite a few times and doubt that I could have thrown a no-hitter while high even if first-graders were doing the batting.
But people react very differently to psychedelics. Once another guy and I took LSD in the Santa Cruz mountains. We'd driven up there from San Jose (where I went to college) in my '57 VW bug.
Heading back down the curvy mountain road after communing with nature for a few hours, I soon realized that turning the steering wheel and braking wasn't going very well for me. Fortunately, my friend took over the driving and did just fine.
So I thought right on when I heard Robin Williams say to his audience, after noting Ellis' no-hitter accomplishment, "Those who have taken LSD, tell the others how hard that would be." However, the guy who drove my VW completely competently while high on this psychedlic likely would have a different opinion.
I'm not wild about being on the street with other drivers on LSD. But I'd bet that someone high on LSD would be less likely to get into an accident than someone tanked on alcohol. Yet LSD is illegal while alcohol isn't.
And I'm absolutely sure that heavy marijuana users would be much better drivers than drunks. Since I was the hippie with a car in college, I did most of the driving up to San Francisco to see shows at the Winterland Ballroom and the Fillmore.
Even when both the inside of the car and the inside of me were filled with marijuana smoke, I could handle a VW with a stick shift and slippery clutch quite well -- even when I'd come to a stop on a steep San Francisco street and had to use the emergency brake when the light turned green to keep from slipping backward into the bumper of a tough-looking cabbie with a "Love It or Leave It" bumper sticker who'd pulled up to within a couple of inches of my rear bumper.
It's great that Dock Ellis revealed that he'd pitched a no-hitter while on LSD.
If there was a sports Hall of Fame dedicated to recognizing athletic accomplishments performed while high on mind-altering drugs, this would help people realize that alcohol is far more dangerous and body-stupefying than marijuana or psychedelics. So it's crazy to keep them illegal.