7.3/10
73
2 user 2 critic

Spaceman: A Baseball Odyssey (2006)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 12 July 2006 (USA)
Throughout the 1970's, Bill Lee was the ultimate gonzo baseball player, a brilliant left-handed pitcher who flouted every manager or front office executive who tried to control him. The ... See full summary »

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Bill Lee ...
Himself
...
Himself
Dan Shaughnessy ...
Himself
Paul Francis Sullivan ...
Himself
Luis Tiant ...
Himself
Dick Williams ...
Himself
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Throughout the 1970's, Bill Lee was the ultimate gonzo baseball player, a brilliant left-handed pitcher who flouted every manager or front office executive who tried to control him. The fans loved him and so did the sportswriters who delighted in asking the usual baseball questions, only to get philosophical responses involving the relationship between Camus and the curveball or the effects of karma on a pitcher's rotator cuff. Blacklisted from professional baseball in 1983, Lee was left to roam the world in search of a chance to play the game he loves. The film follows Lee, approaching sixty years young, on a road trip from his farm in Vermont to the impoverished baseball mecca of Cuba and his triumphant return to Fenway Park. Written by Anonymous

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Even though the game gave him up, he never gave up the game

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Documentary

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Not Rated
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12 July 2006 (USA)  »

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1.85 : 1
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Good, but wanted more from the 1970's
26 April 2017 | by See all my reviews

A good baseball doc, but not quite enough for me to fully recommend.

I was a kid and certified baseball fanatic growing up in the 1970's, and I just loved Bill Lee. I can remember his antics, hysterical sound-bites, and also the pure joy he seemed to have playing this game that I also loved. So, I was really enthused about the prospect of a documentary on this most-unusual of baseball personalities, but was ultimately left a little disappointed.

The first third of the film serves as a summary on Bill Lee's career, and that was the stuff I thought worked best. But all that was just set up for a baseball trip to Cuba, which happened many years after his retirement. The last half or so of the movie, shows Lee and some rag-tag, 40-something baseball team traveling to Cuba to compete there. Bill Lee (in his 50's) was their starting pitcher. That was fun to watch, but a little of that would have gone a long way.

The Cuba footage is interesting, but only to a point. I wanted the Cuba stuff to serve as an aside, instead of being the main focus of the film. But still, the vintage footage combined with the irrepressible wit of this larger-than-life character does make for good viewing. If you were a baseball fan in the 70's/early 80's, you'll probably enjoy this.


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