Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

1976 Topps #528 - Dock Ellis

  • Dock Ellis was a controversial and colorful pitcher who pitched from 1968-1979, mostly for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Ellis was signed in 1964 and pitched in the minors from 1964-1968. Dock debuted for the Pirates on June 18, 1968 and was 6-5 with a 2.50 ERA in 26 games (10 starts).
  • In 1969 Dock was 11-17 with a 3.58 ERA in 33 starts. He improved to 13-10, 3.21 in 1970 and pitched a no-hitter on June 12. Ellis later claimed that he was on LSD when he pitched the gem. He said that he mistakenly thought the Pirates had the day off and was "relaxing" at home when his girlfriend told him that he was supposed to pitch that day. Ellis made it to the park just in time to start the game. He walked eight batters and hit another one but he  managed to complete the game without allowing a hit. Dock took the loss in game 1 of the 1970 NLCS. The game was tied 0-0 after nine innings but Ellis allowed three runs in the top of the 10th inning. Ellis Credits His Tutors for Mound Improvement - April 1970 Baseball Digest.
  • Ellis had an excellent year for the World Champion Pirates in 1971. He went 19-9 with a 3.06 ERA in 31 starts and finished fourth in NL Cy Young Award voting. Ellis started the 1971 All Star game and took the loss as he allowed a 2-run  homer to Frank Robinson and a towering 2-run home run to Reggie Jackson. Dock was the winning pitcher in game 2 of the NLCS but lasted only 2.1 innings in game 1 of the World Series. He allowed four runs and took the loss.
  • Dock started only 25 games in 1972 and was 15-7 with a 2.70 ERA. Ellis started game 4 of the NLCS, allowed three unearned runs in five innings, and took the loss. On May 5, 1972 Ellis was maced by a Cincinnati Reds security guard who didn't believe that Ellis was a player for the Pirates.
  • The Pirates struggled in 1973 after the death of Roberto Clemente and Dock's record reflected those struggles. Ellis started 28 games and had a 3.05 ERA, but his record dropped to 12-14. Dock Ellis: The Popoff Pitcher - December 1973 Baseball Digest.
  • Ellis had another famous game on May 1, 1974. He wanted to prove a point because he felt that his teammates weren't playing hard enough. Dock decided to hit every Cincinnati batter that came to the plate. He hit Pete Rose, Joe  Morgan, and Dan Driessen with pitches to load the bases. Ellis tried to hit Tony Perez, but Perez managed to avoid the pitches and draw a walk. After throwing two pitches at Johnny Bench's head Ellis was removed from the game. Ellis finished the 1974 season with a record of 12-9 and had a 3.16 ERA. Dock was injured and didn't pitch again in 1974 after September 11.
  • Dock had a couple of stints on the disabled list in 1975. He ended up 8-9 with a 3.79 ERA in 27 starts. Ellis pitched in two innings in game 1 of the 1975 NLCS and didn't allow a run. After the 1975 season Ellis was traded with Ken Brett and Willie Randolph for Doc Medich.
  • Ellis had a good year for the Yankees in 1976. He went 17-8 with a 3.19 ERA in 32 starts. Ellis won the AL Comeback Player of the Year award in '76. Dock started and won game 3 of the ALCS. He started game 3 of the World Series but allowed four runs in 3.1 innings and took the loss.
  • Dock pitched for three teams in 1977. He started with the Yankees (1-1, 1.83 ERA in three starts) and was traded with two other players to the Oakland A's for Mike Torrez on April 27. Ellis was 1-5 with a 9.69 ERA in seven starts for the A's before being sold to the Texas Rangers on June 15. Dock finished the year with the Rangers and pitched more like his normal self (10-6, 2.90 ERA in 22 starts).
  • Ellis was with the Rangers for the entire 1978 season but pitched only four times after July 18. He went 4-12 with a 5.84 ERA in 30 games (24 starts).
  • Dock traveled a lot again in 1979. He started with the Rangers (1-5, 5.98 ERA in nine starts) and was traded to the New York Mets on June 15 for two players. Ellis was 3-7 with a 6.04 ERA in 14 starts for the Mets and was sold to the Pirates on September 21. Dock pitched in three games for the Pirates at the end of the 1979 season and had a 2.57 ERA in seven innings. Ellis retired after the 1979 season.
  • After his playing career Dock became a drug counselor in Victorville, California.
  • Ellis co-wrote Dock Ellis in the Country of Baseball in 1976.
  • In 2007 Dock was diagnosed with cirrhosis of  the liver and was on the waiting list for a liver transplant. Ellis died of liver disease on December 19, 2008. Dock Ellis in the Country of Baseball - December 24, 2008 Sports Illustrated.
  • Liked to face: Mike Jorgensen (.000 in 32 AB); Bob Bailey (.000 in 20 AB); Tom Hutton (.050 in 20 AB)
  • Hated to face: Graig Nettles (.727 with 3 HR in 11 AB); Dusty Baker (.600 in 15 AB); Larry Parrish (.476 in 21 AB)


1 comment:

  1. The big rumor in the early 1970s, was the reason Steve Blass lost it as a pitcher in 1972 was because Dock Ellis slept with his wife - just a rumor