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Friday, August 24, 2012

Bill Lee wins professional game at 65

Translucent Flashbacks!

Lee, a 65-year-old left-hander who won a 119 games in 14 seasons for the Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos, threw all nine innings for the San Rafael Pacifics - and became, according to the team, the oldest man to earn a win in a professional baseball game. He broke his own record, having won for an independent Massachusetts team at age 63.

“I just solidified myself as the best old guy on the planet,” said Lee, who attended Terra Linda High School and was mobbed by autograph-seekers after the game.

When Lee got into trouble in the fifth, allowing Maui to take a 3-0 lead, the crowd continued to roar its approval. As manager Mike Marshall, the former Dodger outfielder, came to the mound, Lee stomped, fumed, and stayed in the game. When Lee reached into his uniform, seemingly in search of a foreign substance, someone yelled, “Dig deep, Bill!”

“Taking everything into consideration, that might have been the greatest performance I’ve ever seen on a baseball field,” Marshall said. “I’m stunned. I can’t believe what I just saw.”

...Lee threw his famous Leephus pitch for strikes on occasion, blooping it in nice and slow, and then following up with fastballs. His pitch count for the night: 94, with 69 for strikes, although he struck out no one.

Cracking open a tall can of Budweiser, Lee referred to several long fly balls he allowed, and noted, “I measured that park pretty well today. I was throwing for the big part of the park.”

Lee came out for the price of his plane ticket; the only request was that there be no designated hitter, so he could bat for himself. He did that pretty well, too, singling in a run.

Repoz Posted: August 24, 2012 at 09:24 AM | 18 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

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   1. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: August 24, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4216592)
Pretty cool.
   2. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: August 24, 2012 at 09:41 AM (#4216594)
“I just solidified myself as the best old guy on the planet,” said Lee, who attended Terra Linda High School and was mobbed by autograph-seekers after the game, including Miller Huggins, Ned Williamson and Jim Creighton.
   3. Tom Nawrocki Posted: August 24, 2012 at 09:45 AM (#4216599)
Too bad he couldn't go to the Eliot Lounge afterward.
   4. Greg K Posted: August 24, 2012 at 09:57 AM (#4216604)
Too bad he couldn't go to the Eliot Lounge afterward.

I had (and have) no idea what the Eliot Lounge is, but I loved Bill Lee as a kid and once wrote short story called "The Eliot Lounge" because of his professed desire to go there after the 1975 Series.
   5. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: August 24, 2012 at 10:22 AM (#4216626)
When Jamie Moyer played his pro season in 1984...Bill Lee was 37 and (temporarily) out of the game for two years.

Bill Lee played on the '69 Red Sox with Ron Kline, whose pro career began with the Bartlesville (OK) Pirates in 1950...sixty-two years ago. (Bartlesville hasn't had a pro baseball team in sixty years.) The B-Pirates were managed by former big-leaguer Ted Gullic, who was born one hundred and five years ago, in 1907...and that year, most of the players on the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings were still alive.

Wow.
   6. GregD Posted: August 24, 2012 at 10:30 AM (#4216632)
1907...and that year, most of the players on the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings were still alive.
Is that literally true? I'm not doubting you, just curious if it's a probability or a certainty.
   7. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: August 24, 2012 at 10:39 AM (#4216640)
6 out of 10 were.
   8. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 24, 2012 at 11:05 AM (#4216666)
For all we know, Dick Hurley may still be alive somewhere. He'd appreciate you finding him and killing him, though.
   9. asinwreck Posted: August 24, 2012 at 11:24 AM (#4216683)
Roger Clemens has a long way to go to match the excellence of Bill Lee.
   10. Smiling Joe Hesketh Posted: August 24, 2012 at 11:32 AM (#4216689)
Wait, he had a beer after the game? BURN HIM.

I attended Red Sox fantasy camp this year for the first time and was placed on Lee's team. A very entertaining week was had by all. His pitching motion looks exactly the same today as it was when he was in the majors. It was eerie.
   11. The District Attorney Posted: August 24, 2012 at 11:37 AM (#4216698)
Well, at least Lee did something, which is more than he usually has to do to get someone to write an article about him.
   12. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: August 24, 2012 at 11:41 AM (#4216706)
Would Lee listen if the Rockies called?
   13. Dangerous Dean Posted: August 24, 2012 at 11:48 AM (#4216715)
For all we know, Dick Hurley may still be alive somewhere. He'd appreciate you finding him and killing him, though.


http://www.amazon.com/If-Never-Get-Back-Novel/dp/1583941878

Pretty good read
   14. villageidiom Posted: August 24, 2012 at 12:07 PM (#4216731)
I had (and have) no idea what the Eliot Lounge is, but I loved Bill Lee as a kid and once wrote short story called "The Eliot Lounge" because of his professed desire to go there after the 1975 Series.
The Eliot Lounge, closed in 1996, was a precursor to the modern sports bar.

I was watching part of Ken Burns' Baseball with my son a week or so ago. Lee's explanation of different pitch types, and his description of his last XBH (triple, could've been HR) before the DH rule, were fantastic.

EDIT: This game, I believe.
   15. Greg K Posted: August 24, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4216743)
I was watching part of Ken Burns' Baseball with my son a week or so ago. Lee's explanation of different pitch types, and his description of his last XBH (triple, could've been HR) before the DH rule, were fantastic.

That's precisely how I got to know Bill Lee as a kid. I defy any 12 year old to watch that movie and not love Bill Lee.
   16. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: August 24, 2012 at 04:25 PM (#4217025)
That's precisely how I got to know Bill Lee as a kid. I defy any 12 year old to watch that movie and not love Bill Lee.

Thirded.

Almost, sort of, disappointed in this result. I was going to go to this game with Amazing GF, but I had to prepare for a sentencing hearing this morning, and AGF had work also. Pleh.
We will instead be making our inaugural visit to the San Rafael Pacifics park on Saturday (not a euphemism), and I'm totally looking forward to it.
   17. Buzzards Bay Posted: August 24, 2012 at 08:49 PM (#4217351)
feel like going west
that would be fun
   18. Jose Canusee Posted: August 24, 2012 at 11:01 PM (#4217488)
Bill Lee was way before my time at TLHS, when people were more likely to have remebered the other sports hero, recently deceased Rick DeMont, who won a swimming gold and had it disqualified due to his asthma medication IIRC. But there certainly wasn't any pro baseball going on at Albert Park, and San Rafael isn't any more populated now than in 1980. I do remember subbing as scorer for my brother in adult softball where you put up the metal numbers like Fenway... and forgetting to run out to behind CF to turn on the lights 1/2 hr before dark for them to warm up.

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