The ball’s big — like lobbing a volleyball.
And the batter’s box is so far away.
Tiny ball, red ball, white ball, rainbow ball.
Wasn’t even supposed to play today.
The batters are whiffing in slow motion
Because their strike zone is five miles wide.
The catcher is wavy like the ocean,
Before my release, have to time the tide.
Straight bat, bendy bat, big bat, little bat.
Feels like I’m pitching inside of a dream.
I’m flying as high as an acrobat,
My fingers feel every stitch in the seam.
I wonder what all the fuss is about?
I’m just trying to get the guy out.
Dock Ellis was an African-American baseball player, a major league pitcher who spent a large chunk of his career, which ran from 1968 to 1979, with the Pittsburgh Pirates. I love him for being a smart, stroppy guy, a social activist who spoke up about racism in baseball even tho’ that earned him plenty of disapprobation in plenty of quarters, and also because he was a bit of a madman, a wonderfully idiosyncratic human being, who, for instance, sometimes took to the field for practice wearing curlers in his hair. He’s undoubtedly most famous for the one career no-hitter he ever pitched, against the San Diego Padres, in June 1970. If you’re not a baseball fan, I’ll tell you that a no-hitter is when not a single batter gets a hit off the pitcher. And no-hitters, my dears? Damn hard to come by. Damn hard. Even harder to come by, I would suppose, if you’re tripping. Which is exactly what Dock, bless his heart, was doing. You can learn more by watching this most awesome short film by James Blagden. Do it! You won’t regret it, honest!