Former Boston Red Sox pitcher Bill Lee had stopped breathing after collapsing in the bullpen during an exhibition game, but paramedics and two shocks with a defibrillator helped resuscitate the 75-year-old pitcher, according to a witness at the scene.
“Without immediate intervention, I don’t believe he would be here today,” Thunderbolt City Administrator Bob Milie told The Associated Press on Saturday, a day after the heart attack in a game. for the popular Savannah Bananas.
“He wasn’t breathing,” said Milie, who is also a firefighter in the Georgia town a few miles from Savannah. “It was very, very serious.”
Banana Manager Eric Byrnes posted a picture on Twitter of himself with Lee – a member of the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame – at Memorial Health University Medical Center on Saturday.
Bill “Spaceman” Lee feels FRESH 🙏 pic.twitter.com/DT40kyJWjI
— Eric Byrnes (@byrnes22) August 20, 2022
One of Lee’s daughters arrived in town and was in the hospital with him, team president Jared Orton said.
“She said he was in good spirits and continued to be evaluated for next steps in recovery, but was definitely acting like himself,” Orton said in an email to the media. ‘AP.
Orton said a member of the Bananas front office stayed with Lee at the hospital after midnight.
Milie was at Grayson Stadium to see the Bananas, an entertaining team known for their bright yellow uniforms and clownish antics on and off the field. The game against the Party Animals was on ESPN2.
Lee, affectionately nicknamed “Spaceman” for his irreverent approach during his days with the Red Sox and Montreal Expos, had previously pitched for the Bananas. When it came down Friday night, some people in the stadium thought for a moment that maybe it was part of their team’s “Bananas Ball” act.
“You never know with the bananas. It was like ‘is this…Wait, that’s definitely not part of the show,'” Milie said.
Milie, who was not part of the team that treated Lee, praised all paramedics, police, firefighters and rescue personnel at the scene for their quick action.
Milie said Lee was electrocuted twice with the defibrillator on the pitch.
“The second one, which seemed to do the trick, made the heart race,” he said.
Lee was able to leave the field with help and play then resumed.
In 14 seasons with Boston and Montreal, Lee went 119-90. All-Star in 1973, the southpaw helped start the Red Sox in the 1975 World Series and started Game 7 against Cincinnati. Lee came out in the seventh inning and Boston then lost to Cincinnati 4-3.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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