Former Boston lefty Bill Lee took a no-hitter into the 5th inning last night for the San Rafael Pacifics of the independent North Atlantic League, ultimately hanging around for a complete game, 9-4 victory over the Maui Na Koa Ikaika last night. “Lee did not take the Albert Field mound wearing a gas mask, a Daniel Boone cap or a beanie with a propeller,” writes a somewhat disappointed Daniel Brown of the Contra Costa Times, also adding the Spaceman claims to have flipped off a Yankee fan en route to Johnny Pesky’s funeral.
In those days, as now, Lee threw a baffling assortment of junkballs — an appropriate repertoire, given his personality type. Lee said a high school knee injury, combined with an already weird body type — “sway back, big ass,” is how he put it — allowed him to put a natural sink on the ball.
Lee’s only handicap Thursday was that both his sway back and ample backside were sore. He never stopped trying to stretch out, bending and twisting as he spoke. As the Pacifics gathered ’round to listen to Lee in the bullpen before the game, he offered this bit of gray-haired wisdom: “For you guys out looking for dates tonight, find a massage therapist.”