Respect for the elderly is in shorter supply these days than it used to be. Of course, a lot of that is earned, based on the fact that today’s generation mostly knows the past ones for using slurs at Thanksgiving dinner and melting the polar ice caps. But that, of course, doesn’t mean there aren’t some older folk out there absolutely killing it. And one man that is absolutely, undeniably killing it, is 75 year old pitcher and Red Sox Hall Of Fame member Bill “Spaceman” Lee.

While at a Savannah Bananas minor league baseball game, Lee was called upon to come down and face off against a batter. Which he did more than willingly, and with an ice cold beer in tow. After an acrobatic kick that would make Chun-Li proud, Lee then proceeded to strike out his batter at the age of three-quarters of a century.

Now, watching the video, you might say it wasn’t a real at-bat at all. Sure, it’s not exactly a do-or-die situation, and the batter spends the first two strikes batting from his non-dominant side. But don’t be fooled into thinking the strange looping pitch that gets the third strike is a result of atrophied elderly arm muscles or arthritis-caked joints. In fact, it’s exactly one of the pitches that made Lee famous.

Bill Lee in 1976

Public Domain

Spaceman Lee circa 1976.

You see, Bill Lee never had a good fastball. Which meant he had to get really good at pitching really weird pitches. He specialized in off-speed pitches, and one of his signature pitches was the “Leephus” pitch, or the “spaceball.” This was a personalized renaming of an “Eephus” pitch, which is a pitch that takes a large, vertical arc to the plate, and is slow with a capital S. In a world where fastballs hit 90 miles per hour, an eephus clocks in around 55. Bill Lee wasn’t afraid to throw it in Major League games, either.

The biggest favor the Savannah Bananas did with this video isn’t to Bill Lee, but to everyone who might not be familiar with him, and will now do themselves the favor of giving him a google. We’re talking about a pitcher nicknamed “Spaceman” who spent 14 years in the Major Leagues without being able to throw a fastball. It’s only a surprise that he’s still the coolest mother&#*$er alive at 75 to those who’ve never heard of him.

Top Image: slgckgc/Pixabay

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