"Left-handers are the only people in their right minds"
Mon Dec 11 2006
When you Google the names of Major League pitchers, how many searches send you—on the second hit—to a list of hilarious quotes, including references to church, K-Y jelly, the designated gerbil, drug testing and "a team with 25 assholes"?
Granted, in this city, it's probably a given that we've got more Red Sox haters than Red Sox supporters. Then again, whenever the Yankees play their rivals, you can count on Met fans to cheer for Boston. It might be tricky to measure.
An easier thing to measure is someone's age. And former Sox pitcher Bill "Spaceman" Lee is about to turn 60. Sixty. Even if you don't know much about baseball or don't like many Red Sox, you might find it hard to resist Lee, the lefty who played for Boston from 1969 to 1978. You need more than those quotations? Well, he's been a cheerleader for mind-altering substances. He speaks his mind, inventively. The Boys & Girls Clubs of America would have rejected him as a spokesman. He threw a pitch called the eephus (which ultimately broke Sox fans' hearts and thrilled the Cincinnati Reds' faithful in Game 7 of the 1975 World Series). And who doesn't like the word eephus?
Tuesday 12 at 7pm you can see the outlandish legend in person, plus the documentary Spaceman: A Baseball Odyssey, at Professor Thom's, a bar in the East Village where Sox fans and other sports enthusiasts have been convening since it opened about a year ago. Lee and the director, Brett Rapkin—a 2003 transplant from L.A.—will attend.
The film will be screened. Raffles will be raffled. Steamers will be steamed. Drinks will be drunk. Proceeds will go to the Jimmy Fund, which supports services for kids with cancer. Even if you rarely go to a sporting event without wearing your Jeter jersey, you might have fun. So raise a toast to Spaceman at his birthday party. The guy deserves our respect just for being a famous athlete who's never sounded like a press release when he talks. Ever.