Saturday, November 21, 2009

#595 Don Lee

#595 Don Lee
This is one of the best looks we've had at the old "LA" insignia on the Angels' caps, back in the days when they actually did play in Los Angeles. It's a great-looking logo. I kind of like that the bottom of the "L" doesn't also serve as the middle bar of the "A". This distinguishes it from the Dodgers cap logo.

Fun facts about Don Lee:

-His father, Thornton Lee, pitched for the Indians, White Sox, and Giants from 1933 to 1948. He won 22 games and lead the A.L. with a 2.37 ERA and 30 complete games in 1941.

-Don grew up in Arizona (birthplace: Globe, AZ) and pitched at the University of Arizona before signing with the Tigers in 1956.
-Debuted with Detroit in 1957, but appeared in just 12 games over two seasons.

-After spending most of 1958 and all of 1959 in the minors, he changed teams twice in the offseason, being traded to the Braves and then drafted by the Senators.

-On September 2, 1960, Lee pitched a complete game against Boston, earning a 5-1 win. The only run he allowed came on a Ted Williams home run. Williams, who would retire weeks later, had also hit a home run against Lee's father as a rookie. The Splendid Splinter became the first player in history to homer against a father-son duo.

-After back-to-back solid years as a swingman (3.44 and 3.52 ERAs), he split 1962 between the Twins and Angels and had a career year. Starting 31 games, he reached personal highs in wins (11), complete games (5), and strikeouts (1.02). He also had a 3.46 ERA.

-All four of his career shutouts came in a two year span (1962-1963), highlighted by a three-hitter against the Twins on April 17, 1963. Between the fourth and ninth innings, the righthander retired fifteen batters in a row.

-1963 was a bit of a step back for Don (8-11, 3.68), but 1964 was better. In 89.1 innings - mostly in relief - he fashioned a 2.72 ERA and whiffed 73 batters.

-Elbow and knee woes shortened his career, as he struggled in limited appearances for the Angels, Astros, and Cubs over the last two years of his major league career.

-In parts of nine seasons, Lee went 40-44 with a 3.61 ERA and 11 saves.
#595 Don Lee (back)

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