I have been looking forward to watching Spaceman ever since I saw someone post about it online. Unfortunately I was never able to find a place to watch it, until last night. I was rolling through Amazon Prime and saw it available to watch, so I immediately put it on.
But before I get into the movie itself, let me tell you a little about my fascination with Bill Lee. I had always heard of him from watching old baseball games and reading old stories. I never got to see him play since he played before my time. Then a few years ago I picked up the book, Have Glove Will Travel, and I was hooked. To me he is one of the most interesting people in sports history. A few years back I heard the question asked, “if you could have dinner with three people from history, who would it be?” Well I turned that into three people from baseball history, and my three would be Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, and Bill Lee.
So back to the movie. Spaceman is about Bill Lee, and apparently is based off of his book The Wrong Stuff, which I cannot wait to read. It basically tells of his story of being blackballed from Major League Baseball after he got cut in Montreal sticking up for a teammate. It is an interesting tale of one of the most interesting people ever to climb the mound in a Major League game.
The movie itself was okay. I thought Josh Duhamel played a great Bill Lee, but I felt the overall story line was lacking. To me it was a case of having so many interesting stories to choose from that I was hoping for more. So partly that is my own fault. Regardless of my let down, I still enjoyed it. It has some funny moments and even though I knew the end game I was still rooting for him, especially when he goes to Arizona. I don’t want to give away particulars of the movie to ruin it for anyone that has not seen it.
I think baseball fans might enjoy it, especially if they are Bill Lee fans. It is not the greatest movie in the world, but let’s be honest, most aren’t. Go into it with some optimism and I think you will enjoy it. It is after all a very interesting person/story.
I am not sure how you can see the film other than through Amazon. It is free if you have Prime. So if you do, it is definitely worth the time one lazy weekend to check it out.
While you are at it, if you are interested in Bill Lee check out the documentary about him going to Cuba, Spaceman: A Baseball Odyssey.
Eric Bynum is Managing Editor here at BaseballdeWorld. He spent three years as an ESL teacher in South Korea, and is now working on his master's degree in history with a focus on baseball and WWII. He has played and/or written about baseball for the past 30 years and is an avid Atlanta Braves fan.