The only thing surprising about Bill Lee’s beard, which first appeared photographically on the Red Sox team photo in 1977, was that it didn’t arrive sooner. He was a rebel with a cause, which usually centered around world peace and hatred of Graig Nettles. If Red Sox manager Don Zimmer had a rule against beards, it’s certain Lee would have broken it just because.
Lee was the established version of the anti-establishment athlete. His lefthanded deliveries were as unpredictable as his personality. He once shaved his beard unexpectedly after a win for the Expos in 1979 . And the final “Leephus” pitch he threw to Tony Perez in the sixth inning during Game 7 of the 1975 World Series will be completing its 38th earth orbit sometime late on the night of October 22.