Former Red Sox Pitcher Bill Lee Collapses While Warming Up for Savannah Bananas

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 20, 2022

Bill Lee (Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Former MLB All-Star Bill Lee was taken to a Georgia hospital after he collapsed in the bullpen while warming up to pitch for the Savannah Bananas in an exhibition game Friday night.

"He was able to leave the stadium with medical attention and was taken to a local hospital," Bananas president Jared Orton told the Associated Press.

Lee, 75, pitched for the Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos during a 14-year career that ended in 1982 and was commonly referred to by his nickname, "Spaceman."

The California native is a member of the Red Sox Hall of Fame after spending his first 10 seasons with the AL club. His lone All-Star appearance came representing Boston in 1973.

He compiled a 119-90 record with a 3.62 ERA across 416 career appearances (225 starts).

A biopic about his life, fittingly titled Spaceman, was released in 2016 starring Josh Duhamel and featuring former MLB closer Eric Gagne among the executive producers.

Meanwhile, the Bananas have become a popular attraction in a similar mold to basketball's Harlem Globetrotters.

They wear bright yellow jerseys and embark in a series of antics in exhibition baseball games.

ESPN produced a five-part series about the franchise, Bananaland, which debuted Friday on ESPN+ ahead of the game in which Lee was slated to pitch, which aired on ESPN2.

The Bananas are scheduled to play another "Banana Ball" game Saturday night in Savannah.

A separate version of the organization by the same name plays traditional baseball in the Coastal Plain League, a collegiate summer league.


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