Pittsburgh Pirates fans are abuzz about the situation that took place last night in the ninth inning when Andrew McCutchen was beaned by Ardolis Chapman. We were talking to an old friend this morning at the six pack shop who retold his most memorable beanball incident.
Of course it involved Dock Ellis.
Talk about unbelievable…this is taken from the book Dock Ellis in the Country of Baseball by Donald Hall Fireside, 352 pp., $22.95.
On May 1, 1974, Ellis’ Pittsburgh Pirates, in last place, played the Cincinnati Reds, a team in the midst of its Big Red Machine dominance over the National League. Ellis thought his club showed too much fear around the Reds, and he set out to correct that. He remembered thinking (and saying to teammates) before the game, “We gonna get down. We gonna do the do. I’m going to hit these motherfuckers.”
True to his word, Ellis beaned Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, and Dan Driessen in quick succession to load the bases. It’s hard to imagine a pitcher not being ejected from a game today for intentionally hitting the first three batters of a game. But Ellis was left in to do his best with Tony Perez, who barely managed to dance away from danger and draw a traditional walk. With the score now 1-0 and the bases still loaded, Ellis threw two pitches in the vicinity of Johnny Bench’s head, and was lifted from the game by his bewildered manager.
Damn. How interesting would it be to watch that video? And we wonder what Dock will be thinking as he watches this one tonight. RIP Dock. You are missed. You crazy bastard.