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Sundance 2014 Preview: 'No No: A Dockumentary' Details Misunderstood Career Of Pirates Great Dock Ellis

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act December 5, 2013 at 3:07PM

Sundance 2014 Preview: 'No No: A Dockumentary' Details Misunderstood Career Of Pirates Pitching Great Dock Ellis
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Dock Ellis

I believe it was 3 years ago when we featured a short film based on this very subject - Dock Ellis & The LSD No-No, which was based on a colorful recording by former baseball pitcher Dock Ellis, describing how he pitched a no-hitter in 1970 while under the influence of LSD.

Ellis, for his part, became an anti-drug crusader before he passed a few years ago.

Skip ahead to the present, as we learned yesterday that a feature-length documentary on the life of Dock Ellis and that legendary LSD-influenced no-hitter, will world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival next month.

First some quick back-story...

On June 12, 1970, Dock Ellis threw a no-hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 136 years of baseball history, only 276 no-hitters have been recorded. Dock is the only pitcher to ever claim he accomplished his while high on LSD. During his 12 years in the major leagues, Dock lived the expression "Black is Beautiful!" He wore curlers on the field. He stepped out of his Cadillac wearing the widest bell bottoms and the broadest collars. When he put on his uniform, he was one of the most intimidating pitchers of the 1970s. Dock was often at the forefront of controversy and has been called the “Muhammad Ali of Baseball.” He was an outspoken leader of a new wave of civil rights in sports, when black athletes were no longer content to accept second-class treatment or keep their mouths shut about indignities. For this, the press labeled him a militant. But that’s only half the story…

For the rest of the story, director Jeffrey Radice, and producers Mike Blizzard and Chris Cortez, have made a feature length documentary titled No No: A Dockumentary, which will explore the legend of Dock Ellis (including the LSD, hair curlers & beaning batters), the man behind the legend and his legacy.

Here's an official synopsis:

Dock Ellis pitched a no-hitter on LSD, then worked for decades counseling drug abusers. Dock's soulful style defined 1970s baseball as he kept hitters honest and embarrassed the establishment. An ensemble cast of teammates, friends, and family investigate his life on the field, in the media, and out of the spotlight.

Collected footage incorporated into the film includes a comprehensive library of photos, news clippings, memorabilia and film surrounding Dock’s story, as well as more than 50 hours of interviews with over 35 of Dock's family members, lifelong friends, former teammates and journalists, his long-time agent Tom Reich, fellow counselors and those he counseled.

No No: A Dockumentary will be the first feature-length film to tell the full life story of Dock Ellis; Per a very recent news profile of the film below, the filmmakers expected to debut the film in 2014, likely on the film festival circuit. And they'll be doing just that next month at Sundance.

Here's the profile (underneath you'll find a Kickstarter fundraising promo from last year for more background on the film:


Here's a promo:

This article is related to: Jeffrey Radice


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