Name at birth: Dock Phillip Ellis, Jr.Dock Ellis was a professional baseball player from 1968 to 1979, most famous as the Pittsburgh Pirate who pitched a no-hitter while high on LSD. Ellis came to the Pirates in 1964 and spent most of his career there. He helped them win 5 national championships and one World Series (1971) before being traded to the New York Yankees, where he had a good year in 1976 (17-8, with a 3.19 ERA). During his time in Pittsburgh, Ellis also got lots of press, thanks to his unpredictability in the clubhouse and on the field. A flashy dresser who was not shy about challenging racist America, he came to symbolize a new generation of pro athletes -- socially conscious, stylish, and media savvy. After his baseball career, Ellis became legendary for a story that he had pitched a no-hitter against San Diego on June 12, 1970 while under the influence of LSD, a mind-altering drug. Ellis himself told the story, and while there are a few skeptics, the story has overtaken the actual event. Even without the LSD story, Ellis also represented an era in professional baseball where drug use was widespread among players. After playing baseball, Ellis, a recovered addict, counseled drug and alcohol addicts who were in correctional institutes. He died of liver disease at the age of 63.
Dock Ellis was roommates and good friends with fellow Pittsburgh player Roberto Clemente, also an outspoken black man (from Puerto Rico) when it came to human rights. Clemente was killed in a plane crash in 1972.
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