Bill “Spaceman” Lee, legendary off-beat LHP of the Boston Red Sox who played from 1969-1982 made baseball history on this past Sunday 9/5/10 as the oldest pitcher to play in a professional baseball game at 63 years old.
The “Spaceman” started on the mound for the CanAmLeague’s Brockton Rox vs. the Worcester Tornadoes, pitched 5 1/3 innings and earned the 7-3 win. Starting off the fun with a deceptive eephus pitch to make himself look like an old man, Lee then demonstrated superior command; allowing only 5 hits and 2 runs while giving up 1 walk and collecting 1 strikeout. Although he went 0 for 3 at the plate, “Spaceman” also brought the refreshing old-school style of a pitcher who is willing to take his hacks.
An amazing guy, Bill Lee has now been pitching for more than 50 years, perhaps a tribute to his active lifestyle of cutting wood and making bats for players like David Ortiz. He has also been an at-large ambassador for baseball around the world in unlikely places such as Cuba, China and Russia.
Lee is truly someone for whom “Baseball is Life.” He also has a cool attitude to keep things in perspective:
“I think about the cosmic snowball theory. A few million years from now the sun will burn out and lose its gravitational pull. The earth will turn into a giant snowball and be hurled through space. When that happens it won’t matter if I get this guy out.”