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 left on his own and then laughed and talked in the dugout, MassLive.com reported.
Lee was to throw the ceremonial first pitch and sign autographs.
MassLive.com reported that the 76-year-old southpaw was playing catch in the outfield when he put his hands in his knees and fell backwards. The website says Lee was immediately assisted by WooSox medical staff and left the field on his own to get to safety. He appeared to be laughing as he sat in the dugout for about an inning after the game started before being taken to hospital.
In a statement from WooSox which was also played over the Polar Park PA system, the team said Lee “has a health concern.”
“Although he appears to have recovered quickly, doctors have recommended that he be seen at a nearby hospital just to be sure,” the statement read. “He has already experienced such episodes and everything is fine afterwards.”
The WooSox said later Thursday that Lee’s condition was stable in hospital.
Lee also collapsed on a Georgia pitch about a year ago while pitching for the Savannah Bananas, an unreleased barnyard team. During this match, the paramedics resuscitated him with a defibrillator.
Lee went 119-90 in 14 seasons with Boston and Montreal from 1969 to 1982, making the AL All-Star Team in 1973. He helped the Red Sox to the 1975 World Series and started Game 7 against Cincinnati, coming away with a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning of the game which Boston lost 4-3.
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