One of the greatest phrases in the English language to me is, “Pitchers and catchers will be reporting in two weeks.” Number One, it tells me that spring is just around the corner, and it also tells me the Bravos are getting ready for camp and that in a matter of months my heart will be broken like it always has been except that one magical year in 1995 when the Chief Noc a homa led Bravos defeated the Chief Wahoo Indians 4 games to 2 in what now would would surely be dabbed the politically incorrect World Series by the media, that would be met with all sorts of protest. I digress. This gasbagging is not about any of that. Although I have wondered why all the Vikings that are still around don’t protest their name being disrespected and look at Buffalo disrespecting all the Bill’s that are in this country. No outcry. Don’t even get me started on the Twins that stepped on every baseball season and the disrespect they are shown by Minnesota’s politically incorrect nickname. Life is so unfair but hey, it’s all good…….. it’s baseball season.
I have always been a baseball guy. Some of my best memories of my dad was he and I watching the “Baseball Game of the Week.” It was really the Yankee game of the week and that was back when “The Mick” played along with Roger Maris, South Carolina’s own, Bobby Richardson, Tom Tresh and my favorite, Whitey Ford. I wonder what he would have to change his name to if he pitched today? never mind…. I was a Yankee fan in my early years. Thank God that changed. I’m not a big fan of the Yankees now but I am a big fan of being overpaid to underperform. Pretty much the story of my life.
Back in the seventies the Pittsburgh Pirates were the the bomb. They had the first all-minority lineup in MLB history when they took the field on September 1, 1971. In 1977 they came out with uniforms that sparked a uni revolution. Yes boys and girls, buttonless shirts with beltless pants. For the next 20 years that would be the rage in baseball fashion not to mention black, gold, and pinstripes that could be used in all sorts of combinations.
One of the reasons we love baseball is the characters it has given us over the years and there is none greater than Dock Freaking Ellis of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Why is he heralded as one of the greatest characters in baseball lore you might ask? Here’s why. On June 12, 1970, Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis did something that, by all rights, should be completely impossible: He went and threw a no-hitter despite being high as a kite on lysergic acid diethylamide, otherwise known as LSD. Facing the San Diego Padres in San Diego, Ellis took the mound having dropped acid earlier that day and blanked the Padres walking eight batters and hitting another. It was the first and only no-hitter of Ellis’ career, and almost certainly the lone MLB no-hitter pitched under the influence of LSD. Okay, in life there are certain things that border on impossible. I have seen Neil Armstrong walk on the moon, I watched the Berlin Wall come down, The Masked Singer is still on TV and Keith Richard is still breathing. Impossible you would say. This my friends would be one of those things. I have never been one to shy away from my drug laden past and I can tell you when you see Popeye run across the road with Olive Oyl chasing him with a frying pan or watching 747 jets taking off and landing in your apartment or looking at the mirror and you see Bozo the clown looking back at you the last thing you could do would be throwing a strike much less a no hitter. For Dock Ellis to be able to throw a no hitter while tripping his ass off is one of the greatest feats in all of human history much less baseball history.
This is Don Mossi. I always felt bad for him because this baseball card was voted the ugliest of all time. I don’t know why the card was voted ugliest, it looks like a….. you know…..a card. He was a pretty good pitcher. 101 wins, 80 losses. He wasn’t necessarily a character of the game, he was just known for you know….the baseball card.
Oscar Charles Gamble played baseball for 17 years for 7 different teams. He never made the Hall of Fame, never was a All Star. He hit 30 homers once. Why do I have a picture of him on my gasbagging blog? What makes him so special? Just look. In all his glory, there’s his Afro: fluffed to perfection on either side of his face, though a baseball cap squishes it down, restricting the vertical heights the hairdo was capable of reaching. No player in Major League Baseball history has had a head of hair quite like Gamble’s. This is one of the top baseball card of all time and this is also another reason the Yankees suck. The Yankees even to this day have a policy of no long hair or facial hair on their team. Oscar had signed a deal with Afro Sheen but had to get the give up the deal with the haircut that lost him thousands. I hate the Yankees. Besides the hair, Oscar Charles Gamble is also known for one of the greatest quotes that we still use today. History will back that up. Here is that famous quote. “They don’t think it be like it is, but it do”. Yes, that quote came from none other than Oscar Gamble. Wow. Not only is this this a gasbagging blog but it’s also a learning experience.
I leave you with his, Tommy Lasorda, once the manager of the Dodgers, who also happen to suck. He said that his wife (who was from Greenville SC) told him one day that he loved baseball more than her, to which he replied,” That may be true but I do love you more than football and hockey.” Sorry Rebecca, its baseball season.
If you want to see the animated version of the LSD induced no hitter by Dock Ellis, click on this You Tube video.