High and Outside « Now I Know Archives

For Ellis, June 12, 1970 began in a way unlike many other summer mornings — he had the day off. As he’d recount a decade and a half later, his team, the Pittsburgh Pirates had just finished a two game series in San Francisco and were en route to San Diego, and it was not Ellis’s turn to pitch. So he spent the day in Los Angeles with some friends, relaxing — and dropping acid. It was not until the morning of the 12th that his friend’s girlfriend told him that the Pirates had a doubleheader in San Diego that afternoon and, because of the extra game, Ellis was expected to take the mound. He hopped onto a shuttle and made it to the ballpark in time to start his game. Through nine innings pitched, he struck out six batters, walked eight, but gave up no hits — and won, 2-0.

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