Today is the 71st anniversary of Dr. Albert Hoffman's accidental synthesis of LSD-25. This day marks more the conception of the substance rather than the day mankind truly peeled back the flesh over its collective third eye. As we have a few more months until that anniversary – Bicycle Day, as it is referred to in the psychonauts' argot – I'll save the more involved post for then (I've noted it on my calendar and everything!) Let us now, however, celebrate this glorious accident with another one.
On June 12th, 1970, Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis scored a no-hitter against the San Diego Padres. The kicker? Legend and interviews have it that he had spent his time on the mound tripping the light fantastic. If you aren't aware of the inner workings of LSD, baseball, or both, the closest analogy I can come up with is that the man sleepwalked into the Olympic 100 meter dash and won. Or, as No Mas put it:
Of the 263 no-hitters ever thrown in the Big Leagues, we can only guess how many were aided by steroids, but we can say without question that only one was ever thrown on acid.
I'm not going to recount the entire story because WFMU has done a better and more thorough job than I ever could, but here's something new: an animation by No Mas and James Blagden, who is also responsible for the painting above, with audio from an NPR interview with Ellis wherein he discusses the game. Enjoy!