“I thought Richard Nixon was the home plate umpire…”

I grew up watching the Chicago Cubs on TV back in the 70’s.  The Braves were gone and Mr. Selig hadn’t worked his magic and brought us the Brewers yet. So, it was Jack Brickhouse and Lou Boudreau on the Cubs network.  But my favorite team at the time was the Pittsburg Pirates. I loved to lay in bed at night waiting for sundown so clear channel KDKA could beam into the Midwest and bring me Bob Prince’s colorful call and green weenie whammies.

My favorite player back then was Dock Ellis. He and Vida Blue were two of the first Afro American pitchers I could remember. I loved to watch Dock pitch on TV when I could but mostly settled for the radio. So it was the night I listened to my first no hitter game.  Unfortunately, Dock was pitching against the San Diego Padres and, being a West Coast game, I fell asleep. Didn’t even know who won or that Dock threw a no-hitter until the next day when Pop read me the story from The Journal.

I think about Dock anytime there’s a no-hitter thrown or — well — today, the 50th anniversary  of that night in San Diego … June 12, 1970.