December 21, 2008
Pitcher Dock Ellis dies at 63
Former major league pitching star Dock Ellis died of a liver ailment at a Los Angeles hospital, his former agent said Sunday. He was 63.
Dock Ellis was my first client in baseball, and he gave me as much joy as anybody outside of my family, the agent, Tom Reich, told ESPN.com.
Reich said Ellis died Friday at the USC Medical Center.
The agent 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 said.
I was proud to be his friend and stand with him.
Ellis, who once proclaimed he tossed his 1970 no-hitter in San Diego while on the hallucinogen LSD, retired in 1979 with a 138-119 career record.
He battled cirrhosis of the liver in retirement and had been placed on a waiting list for a liver transplant seven months ago.
The free-spirited right-hander often clashed with management during his career. The Pirates once fined him for wearing his hair in curlers.
When I played baseball, I was a damn fool. I'm still a damn fool but I just don't get high anymore, Ellis told Sports Illustrated last year, the New York Daily News reported.