Quite the promo for the San Rafael Pacifics (independent; Pacific Association): 66-year-old Bill “Spaceman” Lee played all nine positions last night in a loss to Na Koa Ikaika Maui.
“I made a bad play at second but I played first well. I caught, I had an assist on a foul tip and another assist when I threw a guy out,” said Lee. “We came back in the ninth inning. When you can get the tying run to the plate, that’s a good day.”
While the Spaceman started behind the plate, allowing a stolen base and pair of passed balls that saw Maui take a 1-0 lead in the first, he rambled from position to position and eventually found himself on the bench in a key situation.
The only ball Lee saw in the outfield sailed over the center field wall for a two-run Justin James homer. He moved to the mound and allowed a hit before retiring the side in the fifth. Lee went unscathed in the sixth and seventh on the left side of the infield. In the eighth, at second base, Lee couldn’t get to a two-out grounder on the right side that plated another Maui run. San Rafael closer Colin Allen, making his first non-pitching appearance of the season, made a shoestring catch in center to end the inning but San Rafael trailed by four.
Lee’s insertion into the roster wreaked havoc on the scorecard, which by the end of the night had Pacifics Manager Ryan Priddy running out of options. In the ninth, the first-place Pacifics rallied. Danny Gonzalez walked, followed by a Kyle Dhanani double. Matt Quintero grounded out to score Gonzalez to make it 4-1. Morgan Mickan walked to load the bases with two outs, which brought up Lee.
Priddy, whose team is in first place and will be fighting for the Pacific Association Championship on Sunday at 5:00 p.m., lifted Lee in favor of Maikel Jova, the reigning NAL MVP. The move, which received mixed reaction by the crowd and some chanting, “We want Bill!,” ended in Jova striking out to the end the game.
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