But Ellis was able to not only secure a 2-0 Pirates win in San Diego, he held the Padres hitless in what is believed to be the only Major League no-hitter thrown by a man tripping on acid.
The story was long thought to be an urban legend, but Ellis talked openly about the experience in a 2005 Dallas Observer story. Ellis, who died in 2008, had long been drug free and was working as a drug counselor when he was interviewed for the article.
“What’s weird is that sometimes it felt like a balloon. Sometimes it felt like a golf ball,” the alternative weekly reported. “But he could always get it to the plate. Getting it over the plate was another matter entirely. Sometimes he couldn’t see the hitter. Sometimes he couldn’t see the catcher.”
That’s evident in the box score, as Ellis apparently walked eight and hit at least one batter.
You can also read about Ellis acid-washed no-no in Baseball’s No-Hit Wonders.
Good thing Willie Stargell realized that it wasn’t an off day. Pops provided all the offense, on solo homers.