Roger Clemens pitching at age 50 has nothing over Bill "Spaceman" Lee's latest gig. The former Red Sox and Expos lefthander, one of baseball's all-time great characters, became the oldest pitcher to ever win a game after he threw a complete game victory for the San Rafael Pacifics of the independent North American League. And it wasn't a publicity stunt.
Lee, who won 199 games over 14 seasons in the major leagues went nine innings in the Pacifics' 9-4 victory over Maui Na Koa Ikaika of Hawaii. Lee signed a contract with the Pacifics earlier that day.
According to the team, Lee is the oldest pitcher to win a professional game — breaking his own record when he won a game in Massachusetts in 2010 at age 63.
Lee threw a few strikes with his famous blooping Leephus pitch and his fastball was clocked at 70 mph. He threw 94 pitches with 69 going for strikes, although he struck out no one.
"He threw 100 pitches in batting practice," on Wednesday, said former Los Angeles Dodger Mike Marshall, the manager of the Pacifics. "He's the only guy the whole season to go all nine, and the rest of the guys are in their 20's."
Lee— who mockingly nicknamed his chubby-cheeked manager Don Zimmer "The Gerbil" when he was on the Red Sox— was pretty serious on the mound but still sounds like he has his irreverent sense of humor to go with his intense hatred of the New York Yankees.
After spotting a Yankees fan outside Fenway Park the other day while attending Johnny Pesky's funeral, the 65-year old Lee did what the the Spaceman would have done forty years ago.
"I flipped him off," he said.