Top 15 Athletes Who Played Inebriated

Performance enhancing drugs (PEDs) are outlawed by all major sports leagues. Organizations made those rules to protect the fairness of the game. What about performance diminishing drugs?

Substances and sports mix well together. A cold beer goes down perfect during a hot summer baseball game. All athletes add supplements to their nutrition (legal or illegal). It's even a tradition to pop champagne bottles after winning a sports' championship. People love the idea of working hard and playing harder. As the old saying goes, 'the day I can't do my job drunk, is the day I turn in my gun and badge' (calm down, it's just a joke). Inebriated performances are common place for entertainers and even some athletes. Drugs are bad, but it's impressive when people perform under pressure and under the influence. Those best performances are ranked in this top 15 list.

Baseball players dominated the top 15 list. Seven of the 15 athletes played major league baseball, including the top three athletes. Does it help to be inebriated when playing baseball? Maybe?! It can be a slow game sometimes.

Honorable mentions should be given to a couple old-school drinkers who fall just outside the top 15 list. Babe Ruth was the original poster child for decadent living. His ability to drink and hit the ball where unmatched for the time period. Mickey Mantle hit the bottle and baseball just  as well. Despite not making the top 15 list, these two players, and others like them, opened the door for athletes to celebrate wildly today.

Crack open a cold beer, pour yourself a full glass, and let's take a hit into the top 15 list.

15 Andre The Giant


14 Todd Marinovich

Stephen Wade /Allsport

Todd Marinovich's story is the most cautionary tale on the top 15 list. Marinovich had all the skills to be the greatest NFL quarterback, but his career was cut very brief due to drug addictions. His addictions started off somewhat innocent and turned tragic fast. Per Raiders' tradition, the first round draft pick had to throw a party, and Marinovich threw the greatest rookie party ever. He converted a barn into stadium seating and hired a flatbed-truck barbecue company. He added some porn stars and strippers to complete the party environment. After that party, Marinovich became a very popular teammate.

13 Tim Raines


12 Keon Clark


11 Bernie Carbo


10 Thomas Henderson


9 Keith Hernandez


8 Fred Thurston


7 Mike Tyson


Mike Tyson might have been the scariest boxer in the history of the ring. His knockout power was unmatched in boxing and so was his desire for drugs and sex. The former heavyweight champion of the world admitted that he spent most of his boxing career addicted to cocaine and marijuana. He confessed to using cocaine up to his shocking lost to Danny Williams. He repeatedly used a fake penis and someone else's clean urine to pass pre-fight drug tests. Tyson also admitted to being high on cocaine during his famous press conference with Lennox Lewis. That's when Mike Tyson famously threatened to eat Lennox Lewis's children. Guess it makes sense now.

6 Dennis Boyd

AP Photo/Paul R. Benoit

5 John Daly

AP Photo/The Commercial Appeal, Jim Weber

4 Bobby Layne


Bobby Layne might be the first drunk playboy quarterback. The NFL Hall of Famer was known for closing the after-hours bar early Sunday morning and throwing touchdowns later that afternoon. Layne won three NFL championship in Detroit, and the Texas-born quarterback became the city's greatest resident. His local support allowed him to live above the law.

3 David Wells

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

2 Wade Boggs


1 Dock Ellis


Dock Ellis pitched a no-hit shutout for Pittsburgh in 1970. That alone isn't good enough from this list, but Ellis took LSD and amphetamines before his great performance. The flamboyant pitcher forgot he was supposed to pitch, and having already dropped the acid, Ellis had to rush to get to the ballpark. He took his normal amount of amphetamines, which was typical for the drug-ridden MLB, and Ellis took to the mound. While he played, Ellis claimed 90% of baseball players used some form of speed pills. What did Ellis experience as he pitched the no-hitter on LSD? He claimed the ball changed from large to small and back throughout the game. Dock Ellis tried LSD for another start later that season, but he didn't perform nearly as well. That LSD luck must have only struck once.

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Top 15 Athletes Who Played Inebriated