Baseball Was So Much Better When You Could Dose Team Mascots with LSD

The best souvenier program illustration ever, explained


As pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training this week, a nation of a baseball writers and enthusiasts are performing their annual excavation of the sport's bountiful quantities of grade-Z level cultural detritus. It is probable, however, that none will top this cover of a 1966 Astros souvenier program:

All baseball mascots must be dosed! |||

For the non-baseball fans among you, the guy in the rocking chair represents a rather leery-looking member of the Houston Astros, who is helping a little bear cub (the mascot of the Chicago Cubs) drink from a milk bottle labeled "LSD." Because 1966, right?

Maybe not. Over at SB Nation's Bleed Cubbie Blue, writer Al Yellon notes that there's an asterisk after "LSD"; and that in small print below under the Astro's baseball it says "* Leo S. Durocher," who was then the manager of the Cubs. The program was for the June 10-12 Cubs-Astros series. In his previous visit to the new Astrodome, Durocher (one of Nick Gillespie's favorite baseball miscreants) had slammed the space-age facility after his team got swept, calling it a "$45 million stadium with a 10-cent infield," deriding its revolutionary Astro-turf as "nylon," and referring to the Astros as a "bush organization" (he wasn't talking about the political dynasty in Houston, so far as we know). So it stands to reason that the cover was a deliberate tweak to Durocher's ample schnozz.

It's a convincing explanation, and Yellin marshals plenty of other historical evidence. BUT:

Now, Durocher's middle initial wasn't "S"—his middle name was "Ernest." It does appear that it could have been a drug reference, which seems very odd in that buttoned-down era. Some have speculated it was for "Lake Shore Drive" in Chicago—but no one in Chicago referred to Lake Shore Drive as "LSD" in 1966. That didn't happen until the 1970s. 

You can never trust artists, is what I would add. That, and sports mascots are just like acid, minus the fun (and trails).

Link via Baseball Think Factory.

NEXT: Obamacare's Federal Exchange System Still Isn't Fully Finished, and the Feds Don't Know When It Will Be Complete

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Why is a naked man in a rocking chair sodomizing a bear cub?

      1. When will the cycle of abuse end?!?

  2. No discussion about LSD and Baseball is complete without a reference to the Dock Ellis No-No:

    No Mas Presents: Dock Ellis & The LSD No-No by James Blagden


    1. I love Wrigley Field.

      1. Yeah but you don’t have to spend half of your season training/playing there.

      2. It’s the best. The Cubs are the greatest possible joke in sports, but not their field.

      3. One day, Wrigley Field will make a fine parking lot for a real baseball stadium.

  4. Lake Shore Drive is, in fact, a legal hallucinogenic. Drive on it sometime, and you’ll see.

  5. Good one Welch.

    I feel like we don’t get enough ‘not just politics-all-the-time’ stuff anymore. Maybe its just me.

    Side note = Why is it that Baseball-dorks basically become baseball-obsessed to exclusion of other sports? I have a half dozen friends who were never sports fans at all… then in college they discovered baseball, and its *all they do* now. more or less. they can talk historic baseball stats like they’re @#*$&@ Rain Man, but don’t know a goddamn thing about any other game.

    It appeals to a certain personality type i think.

  6. Everything was better when you could dose team mascots with LSD.

    1. Was LBJ better than Obama? I’m sure some economist can design a metric that will tell us definitively one way or another.

      1. “Was LBJ better than Obama?”

        I think he was definitely better for Blacks.

        *i mean this both sarcastically and quasi sincerely.

        I think the Great Society in many ways robbed the poor while pretending to try and help them with Big Government solutions. The systems of economic control it gave birth to, and the perverse incentives it created, ultimately made the poor poorer and widened the social divide. Nothing other than the Drug War fucked over black people worse in terms of its actual consequences.

        that said = at least the motherfucker *tried*. I mean, he at least sold his policy abortions to people on the idea that it was going to help black people.

        By constrast, one of the most notable features of Obama’s presidency is for what it is not = he’s had basically zero initiatives specifically targeting problems in black america.

        Specific things that come to mind are his utter indifference to the Drug War, his lack of concern for criminal sentencing disparities, his disinterest in the chronic unemployment and dependency in poor urban communities, and the ungodly shittyness of many urban school systems. I can’t think of anything he’s actually specifically done to reach out to blacks that showed any genuine concern. Or even anything he’s done which was entirely superficial and dishonest, solely intended to throw blacks a rhetorical bone. Zippo.

        1. that said = at least the motherfucker *tried*. I mean, he at least sold his policy abortions to people on the idea that it was going to help black people.

          The ACA would’ve fit comfortably into the Great Society. Not that Obama had much to do with it outside of not vetoing it, but it’s the most LBJ-ish legislation in the last couple of generations.

          It is odd that the race narrative has fallen off quite a bit in favor of the class narrative, at least among intellectuals. I don’t know whether that’s a sign that the racial warfare approach is losing steam or what, but it seems that all of the race-baiting is pro forma right now.

          I suspect it’s just cyclical and that they’ll return to race as their primary issue the second people become bored with complaints about how the 99% have to subscribe to Google Car services rather than owning a fleet of self-driving automobiles outright. Where there’s envy, the political left will always find a home.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.