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I've always been a big baseball fan and I barely knew this guy's name beyond the no-hitter story. He was an important and courageous player in speaking out against unfair treatment back when there was still a lot of racism in the game and to make it in the big leagues as a black man you had to be a star. His honesty about his drug and alcohol abuse also helped open the door into this darker side of sports. Baseball has always been a traditional game interested in protecting its image, so guys like Ellis were a challenge. It seems to me that he was good for the game and helped change occur at a faster rate than it might have without him.