Long before the new doc about Dock Ellis, an animated YouTube clip about the pitcher's story became a viral sensation

By Jeff Labrecque
Updated September 05, 2014 at 04:00 AM EDT

One year after Dock Ellis’ 2008 death, his legend got a boost thanks to Brooklyn-based filmmaker Christopher Isenberg and artist James Blagden. The two took a public-radio interview with Ellis, then added Blagden’s psychedelic imagery to accompany the pitcher’s own words, creating an animated short called Dock Ellis & the LSD No-No. ”He’s telling an amazing story that’s sort of funny and dangerous and kind of hard to believe,” says Blagden. ”For me, it’s some sort of expressionist painting where your imagination is filling in the gaps.” So far, the video has been viewed more than 3.5 million times.