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Saying "Hi" to Former Boston Red Sox Pitcher Lee Stange at the Boston Museum of Science in the Late 1960s

On this Opening Day for the Boston Red Sox, I'd like to take the way back machine to write about Lee Stange, a journeyman pitcher who played for the Sox from 1966-1969. They called him the "Stinger" and his first name was actually Albert. Why Stange used his middle name as his first, I really can't say.

Stange pitched as a starter and reliever throughout career, but mainly the latter with the Sox. Back then, Stange didn't seem like much of a pitcher but, in retrospect, if he played today, Stange would probably have a multi-million dollar contract and a few all-star games under his belt. He had a career 3.56 ERA, a 62-61 record over a 16-year career, nine complete games in 1966 (although he went 8-9!) and 12 saves for the Sox in 1968 -- that was really good for the era. Stange also went 12-5 for the Minnesota Twins in 1963.

Perhaps my best memory of Lee Stange was seeing him at the Boston Museum of Science in the late 1960s. I can't remember why Stange was a guest there, but I saw him throwing a ball in front of an audience. I never saw anyone throw a ball that fast in person! He wasn't that big, either, maybe 5"10" so I thought "anything is possible" when aspiring to be a baseball player someday ((like 99 percent of the neighborhood kids with the exception of one geek that played in his dress shoes!) Clearly inspired, I returned home and practiced very hard to try to throw that fast. I could throw so fast, the neighborhood kids must have thought I was the local Tom Seaver. Little did they know that Lee Stange was my baseball pitching inspiration!

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