On June 12, 1970, Pirates pitcher Doc Ellis pitched the season’s first no-hitter against the San Diego Padres. He would later admit that he was under the influence of LSD at the time. On June 14, 2011, Deadspin editor A.J. Daulerio tried to recreate Ellis’s acid-addled no-hitter on the Xbox version of MLB2K11.
The first couple games went quickly, as I struggled to get through the top of the lineup. One thing I’d overlooked was that in 1970, Dock Ellis had not been responsible for steering the other eight players on the field. I gave up cheap hits mostly because my Andrew McCutchen either stood stationary or took off in a dead sprint toward the right field wall whenever a perfectly catchable pop fly came his direction.
But by the fourth game I started to pick up tendencies in all the batters. Jason Bartlett swung at first-pitch changeups. Will Venable couldn’t hit the palm ball. In fact, most of these free-swinging Padres couldn’t hit Dock’s funky palm ball. I threw it often. But by then, also, the first acid distractions entered: the TV flickered; the cracks in the wall started to move; the hand soap started to breathe — those sorts of things. Plus I was drawn to the outdoor garden between innings. Rain was near, I sensed.
The experiment ends with the result you’d expect, for the ridiculous reason you’d expect, but it’s an interesting read either way.