The 5th-grade students, attending the Students Achieving Success (SAS) after-school program sponsored by the Beacon of H.O.P.E. at Pine Island Elementary, received a surprise visit from a former Major League standout pitcher. Bill Lee pitched for the Red Sox from 1969-78. He was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame as the team's record-holder for most games pitched by a left-hander and the third-highest win total by a Red Sox southpaw.
He also pitched for the Montreal Expos from 1979-82.
Lee, who still pitches for the San Rafael Pacifics, entertained the 5th-graders with stories and advice when he came to visit on Feb. 12.
Former Major League pitcher Bill Lee speaks to students at Pine Island Elementary School.
"You only have to hit the ball when it's over the plate and over your knee." Lee demonstrated with a bat he manufactured himself. "The key to hitting is to recognize what a strike and a ball are."
The students, some baseball players themselves, appreciated the advice, and everyone appreciated the free baseballs and signed baseball cards Lee distributed at the end of the session.
It was a delightful afternoon for the staff and students of S.A.S., made possible by Bill and Diana Lee. A good deed rewarded with smiles and screams.
"I am the happiest ever!" Kaylynn Sabella screeched, her hand clutching a baseball and card.