For 14 years as a left-handed pitcher (1969-1982), ten with Boston and four with Montreal, Bill Lee was anything but a conventional major league ballplayer. His career record is 119-90, including three consecutive 17-win seasons with the Red Sox (1973-1975) and a 16-win season with the Expos in 1979. Bill Lee was selected to the American League All-Star squad in 1973 and pitched in the World Series in 1975 against the Cincinnati Reds.
Drafted by the Boston Red Sox in the 22nd round of the 1968 amateur draft following a brilliant college career at the University of Southern California, where he won a College World Series title, Bill Lee was called up to the major leagues less than 18 months after he was drafted. He became one of the game’s few counterculture symbols: he talked to animals, championed environmental causes, practiced yoga, ate health foods, pondered Einstein and Vonnegut, quoted from Mao, and studied Eastern philosophers and mystics. It was in this context that former Red Sox teammate John Kennedy first dubbed him “Spaceman,” a nickname writers thereafter used as shorthand to describe his free spirit.
Bill Lee resides in Vermont, where he tends to a farm and continues to play baseball regularly. Bill Lee still has a cult following in New England, and is one of the most popular Red Sox players of all time.
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