Spreading Sports with the Spaceman

25 07 2008
Bill Lee Baseball Card

Bill Lee Baseball Card

Bill “Spaceman” Lee, graduate from the University of Southern California, was a popular MLB pitcher. As a charismatic pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos, Lee had 3 consecutive 17-win seasons, made the 1973 All-Star team, and pitched in the 1975 World Series. Spaceman was a finesse lefty who threw a variety of off-speed pitches, including the ‘Space Ball.’ He is being inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame on November 7, 2008.

Spaceman Lee is a true global advocate of the game. He was the first ballplayer ever to play in the Soviet Union, Red China and Cuba. He is a baseball purist and strong supporter of the traditions of the game. Lee is opposed to the designated hitter rule, polyester uniforms, and AstroTurf.

A reporter once asked Bill Lee if he preferred AstroTurf to grass. Lee replied, “I don’t know, I’ve never smoked AstroTurf

Lee earned his nickname “Spaceman” because of his openness on his drug use. He regularly sprinkled pot on his pre-game organic pancakes for good luck. He ate health food and practiced yoga. He claimed his marijuana use made him immune to bus fumes while jogging to work at Fenway Park.

After retiring in 1982, Spaceman ran for President of the United States. He campaigned on the slogan

“No guns. No butter. Both can kill”.

 

Lee was the cadet on the Canadian Political Rhinoceros Party ticket, but unfortunately he failed to appear on any state ballot.

Spaceman Lee’s passion for life and baseball helped spread the game outside North America. His honesty, intelligence, and humanity helped spread the game to a large population of people who had no interest in baseball at all. Below is a glimpse into Spaceman.

On Drug Testing
“The other day they asked me about mandatory drug testing. I said I believed in drug testing a long time ago. All through the sixties I tested everything.”

On Lefties
“You have two hemispheres in your brain – a left and a right side. The left side controls the right side of your body and right controls the left half. It’s a fact. Therefore, left-handers are the only people in their right minds”

On Competition
“Hell, if KY jelly went off the market, the whole California Angels pitching staff would be out of baseball.”

On manager Don Zimmer
“The designated gerbil”

Putting 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.”

On the Hall of Fame
“Only when I am dead. I want to go in face down so they can kiss my ass.”

In 2003, filmmakers Brett Rapkin and Josh Dixon joined Lee on a trip to Cuba.

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