On this date in 1974, Dock Ellis (shown here with a few adoring fans) attempts to fire up his Pirates teammates — who he believes are being unduly intimidated by the Big Red Machine — with a pre-game announcement to his teammates that he's going to hit every batter in the Reds lineup. "We gonna get down," he says. "We gonna do the do. I’m going to hit these motherfuckers."
He then makes good on his word, plunking Pete Rose, Joe Morgan and Dan Driessen and walking Tony Perez (who narrowly manages to dance out of the way of two beanballs) with the bases loaded before Pirates skipper Danny Murtaugh yanks his ass from the game.
Like many stories from Dock's career, this one sounds improbable — at least until you actually look it up. Here's the box score from that May 1, 1974 game, and sure enough, there's Dock's line:
IP:0 H:0 R:1 ER:1 BB:1 SO:0 HBP:3
For the record, the Pirates dropped to 6-13 with the loss to the Reds that day... but came back to win the NL East by a game and a half over the Cardinals.