Monday, December 28, 2020

Happy # 74 to Bill Lee, a.k.a. "The Spaceman"

The eccentric but very good lefty Bill Lee was born in Burbank, CA, on this day in 1946.

As a pitcher, he was a rare left hander who could pitch in Fenway Park.   

He pitched most of his career with Boston and finished with Montreal:  119 wins, 3.72 ERA and 72 complete games.

Lee's pitching style was to kill you with a variety of "junk pitches" that had hitters speaking to themselves on the way back to the dugouts.

Off the field, Lee was also "The Spaceman" because of all his famous quotes.   He wasn't Yogi Berra but he had a few:  

"I would change policy, bring back natural grass and nickel beer. 
Baseball is the belly-button of our society. 
Straighten out baseball, and you straighten out the rest of the world."

My biggest memory is game 7 of the 1975 World Series.   He threw one of those junk pitches to Tony Perez and it was the 3-run HR that put Cincinnati back in the game.

He was fun to watch on and off the field.    A baseball character when it was just fun to be a character.

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