Thursday, April 14, 2011

Dock Ellis in the Country of Baseball

I hate to sort-of-cheat two days in a row, but if I'm going to maintain my streak today, it's necessary. Besides, there are no rules here. Who's even reading this? I got up this morning and took a 50-minute train ride to Long Island, where I met with a tax consultant for 20 minutes, then turned around and took a 50-minute train ride to Manhattan and went to work. It's been a long day.

I've just posted at The Second Pass a brief piece about a baseball pitcher named Dock Ellis. Here's the beginning of it:
Donald Hall has been U.S. Poet Laureate, was educated at Exeter, Harvard, and Oxford, and is generally associated with contemplative life in New Hampshire and poetry collections with titles like Kicking the Leaves and The Purpose of a Chair.

Dock Ellis was a voluble baseball pitcher in the 1970s who once purchased a Cadillac custom-designed for a pimp who could no longer afford it. He christened it the Dockmobile. He also pitched a no-hitter while under the lingering influence of LSD, and said of the achievement: “I started having a crazy idea in the fourth inning that Richard Nixon was the home plate umpire, and once I thought I was pitching a baseball to Jimi Hendrix, who to me was holding a guitar and swinging it over the plate.”

Needless to say, when I discovered, while reading Josh Wilker’s Cardboard Gods, that Hall had written a book called Dock Ellis in the Country of Baseball, I felt a strong urge to find a copy.
Please feel free to read the whole thing.


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