WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Bill “Spaceman” Lee collapsed on the field during pregame ceremonies before a Triple-A game between the Worcester Red Sox and the Norfolk Tides on Thursday. He walked off on his own and was laughing and talking in the dugout after, MassLive.com reported.
Lee was scheduled to throw out the ceremonial first pitch and sign autographs.
MassLive.com reported that the 76-year-old left-hander was playing catch in the outfield when he put his hands on his knees and fell backward. The website said that Lee was immediately assisted by WooSox medical personnel and walked off the field to the dugout on his own. He appeared to be laughing as he sat in the dugout for about an inning into the game before he was taken to a hospital.
In a statement from the WooSox that was also read over the public address system at Polar Park, the team said that Lee “had a health scare.”
“While he seems to have recovered quickly, doctors have recommended checking him out at a nearby hospital just to be sure,” the statement said. “He has experienced such episodes before, and has been fine thereafter.”
The WooSox said later Thursday that Lee's condition was stable at the hospital.
Lee also collapsed on a Georgia field about a year ago while he was pitching for the Savannah Bananas, a novelty barnstorming team. Paramedics at that game resuscitated him with a defibrillator.
Lee went 119-90 in 14 seasons with Boston and Montreal from 1969-82, making the 1973 AL All-Star team. He helped pitch the Red Sox into the 1975 World Series and started Game 7 against Cincinnati, leaving with a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning of the game Boston lost 4-3.
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb