December 21, 2008

Pitcher Dock Ellis dies

Former major league pitching star Dock Ellis has died of a liver ailment at 63 years old at a Los Angeles hospital.

His former agent, Tom Reich, confirmed Ellis died Friday at the USC Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Dock Ellis was my first client in baseball, and he gave me as much joy as anybody outside of my family, Reich told

Reich lived in Pittsburgh when Ellis broke in with the Pirates in 1968.

He was a very special person and he had an absolute army of fans and friends, Reich added. I was proud to be his friend and stand with him.

Ellis, who once proclaimed that he tossed his 1970 no-hitter in San Diego while on the hallucinogen LSD, retired in 1979 with a 138-119 career record.

In retirement, he battled cirrhosis of the liver and had been placed on a waiting list for a liver transplant seven months ago.