It appears Pete Rose isn’t the only former Major League Baseball player who is trying to get something off his chest while using a piece of memorabilia as the medium.
In American Memorabilia’s latest auction magazine, the Las Vegas-based company is offering baseballs signed by former Pittsburgh Pirates’ pitcher Dock Ellis, with an added inscription admitting to throwing a no-hitter while on acid.
On June 12, 1970, Ellis defeated the San Diego Padres behind a 2-0 no-hit performance. Years later, Ellis admitted that he was under the influence of LSD that day.
“I took the LSD that day and thought the next day was an off day, but I missed the off day,” said Ellis in an exclusive interview with SCD. “When I woke up I thought it (the off day) was the following day, but it wasn’t. It was the day I was supposed to pitch.”
Straight and dope free for more than 20 years, Ellis has worked in numerous rehabilitation programs to help black inmates, has served as an active coordinator of anti-drug programs in Los Angeles and started the Black Athletes Foundation for Sickle Cell Research.
Ellis said it never crossed his mind that the phrase was not the right thing to put on a ball.
“It’s already been publicized year after year after year,” said Ellis. “I put it on a ball because it’s memorabilia and I am sure people are going to want this ball.”
This piece, offered a few months after the infamous “I’m sorry I bet on baseball” Rose balls were offered publicly, can be purchased for $175 by calling (800) 430-0667 or by visiting www.americanmemorabilia.com.
According to American Memorabilia president Victor Moreno, Ellis has signed a few items with this interesting notation in his career, but never has a ball like this been offered to the public.
Ellis said he got he idea for the ball last year. “Last year’s All-Star Game somebody stopped me in the airport and asked me to put the inscription on the ball and I said ‘No, I’m not gonna put it on a ball, but that’s a good idea,'” he said chuckling.
Moreno added that the latest issue of his company’s magazine features an article about Ellis’ life and that was the main reason they decided to sell the baseballs at this time.