Monday, March 16, 2009

Thursday, March 12, 2009

America Moving On

Economics 101 brought to you by Jack Hackhorn.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Dock, LSD, and the No Hitter

Opening day of the Major League baseball season is approaching fast and I for one am very excited because this is by far one of my favorite times of year. I've decided to do something different to celebrate the 2009 season. From now until the end of the World Series I'm going to periodically post some of my favorite moments in baseball both of the past and things that may happen during this current season. My first posting is a tribute to the most interesting no hitter thrown in Major League history, I hope you enjoy.

Dock Phillip Ellis Jr. passed away on December 19, 2008 from a liver ailment brought on by cirrhosis. He had spent the last decades of his as a drug counselor. For twelve seasons, Dock was a Major League pitcher with five different teams, most notably the Pittsburgh Pirates, posting a career 138-119 record.

The myth of Dock Ellis now outweighs the life, as happens with anyone who commits a legendary act. On June 12, 1970, Dock pitched a no hitter against the San Diego Padres. What sets this no hitter apart from all others in Major League history, is that Dock was under the influence of LSD when he stepped upon the mound of Jack Murphy Stadium. Ellis would later recount the game fourteen years later.

“I can only remember bits and pieces of the game. I was psyched. I had a feeling of euphoria. I was zeroed in on the catcher's glove, but I didn't hit the glove too much. I remember hitting a couple of batters and the bases were loaded two or three times. The ball was small sometimes, the ball was large sometimes, sometimes I saw the catcher, sometimes I didn't. Sometimes I tried to stare the hitter down and throw while I was looking at him. I chewed my gum until it turned to powder. . .”

I didn't hear this story until I was nineteen or twenty, and by then I had already consumed a solid amount of LSD and other hallucinogens. I had also spent my entire childhood playing baseball, so to hear a man had actually played the game, let alone thrown a no hitter while under the influence was quite a revelation. Dock, in my mind, became a surreal icon, like Hendrix at Monterey playing his set on a head full of acid and then lighting his guitar on fire. What also makes this moment interesting is that it's a statement about a time in America. The grim reality of the Nixon years was seeping into the consciousness of most Americans and those that had bought into the rhetoric of the “love generation”were starting to get off the boat. But not Dock, he was letting his freak flag fly during one glorious night under a San Diego sky.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

The Films of Jack Hackhorn

Check out this page dedicated to the films of Jack Hackhorn, including a recent find called Co-ed discipline: An instructional film, which Jack assembled for his friend Alvaro Colon.