MARK LEECareer recordLee, who hadn't pitched in the majors...

UP CLOSE WITH THE ORIOLES

July 28, 1995|By Jamison Hensley

MARK LEE

Career record

Lee, who hadn't pitched in the majors since 1991, signed with the Orioles last fall, and was among the minor-leaguers that manager Phil Regan and pitching coach Mike Flanagan worked with for about six weeks this spring. He was drafted by Detroit in 1985 and moved from the Tigers to Kansas City to Milwaukee to Texas to the Cubs. He entered this season having pitched in a total of 77 major-league games, including 62 in 1991, when he had a 3.86 ERA for Milwaukee. With the Orioles, Lee usually is the first left-hander out of the bullpen, often in the sixth or seventh inning.

Personal record

Born in Williston, N.D., and resides in Colorado Springs, Colo. Turned 31 on July 20. Played with former Oriole Mike Devereaux on the Casper Oilers, an American Legion team that won the Wyoming state championship three straight years, including twice over a team that featured another former Oriole, Jeff Ballard. Grew up in Casper, an oil and mining city of about 70,000 people.

Favorite food

All different types of Italian food.

Childhood memories of baseball growing up in Wyoming

"We didn't have a local team or hometown team. I wasn't a big baseball fan. I played baseball all my life, but I never really watched it that much. I never even saw a minor-league game growing up."

Biggest superstition

"When I come out of the dugout, I jog until I get to the line and then walk to the mound. I can't even say it's a superstition. It's really a habit."

Favorite television show

"I've got a couple of kids, so I end up watching cartoons most of the time."

Favorite movies

Chevy Chase comedies

Favorite music

Country music

First job

Worked in an auto body shop during high school

If he weren't playing baseball, he'd be . . .

"I don't really know, but growing up, most of my family was in the oil business in Wyoming. Possibly, I could be doing that."

How he passes time on road trips

"I like to sleep in because the kids keep pretty busy. Other than that, I do a lot of crossword puzzles. Then I go to the park. We [members of the bullpen] like to get there early to play our little Hacky Sack games."

Most helpful coach

Rick Zimmerman, Lee's coach at Trinidad (Colo.) Junior College. "He was a big influence on my attitude you had toward the game."

Best moment

"For me, it was the second time I got to the big leagues. A lot of people would say the first time or first game. But after my first time up, I got an injury and eventually had surgery. I had people tell me I couldn't pitch anymore or that I wouldn't be effective anymore. I proved a lot of people wrong. It wasn't one particular game, just getting back here."

Most embarrassing moment

"In high school, they had to take me off the field during infield [practice]. I lost the ball and got hit in the head. The ball hit off my head and went about 30 feet in the air."

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