A new film about a Red Sox legend has its first trailer

The biopic of Bill ‘Spaceman’ Lee stars Josh Duhamel as the oddball ace.

Josh Duhamel plays former Red Sox pitcher Bill 'Spaceman' Lee in 'Spaceman.'
Josh Duhamel plays former Red Sox pitcher Bill 'Spaceman' Lee in 'Spaceman.' –Orion Pictures

The first teaser trailer for Spaceman, a biopic about former Red Sox pitcher Bill “Spaceman” Lee, hit the internet Tuesday.

“Of all the legends who reached baseball’s greatest heights,” a voiceover says, over grainy video footage of Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and Jackie Robinson. “One man got the highest.”

The trailer then cuts to Josh Duhamel as the infamous Sox ace, delivering a version of a quote long attributed to the pitcher: “I have always been in favor of drug testing in sports. Yeah, I like to test them all.”

Spaceman, which was originally titled The Wrong Stuff, is an adaptation of Lee’s 1984 autobiography of the same name, co-written with Richard Lally. In it, Lee discusses being blacklisted from the major leagues for his outspokenness, extreme left-wing politics, and liberal drug use.

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Though you can hear the familiar voice of longtime Red Sox radio announcer Joe Castiglione in the trailer, Spaceman will mostly cover Lee’s time with the Longueuil Senators, an amateur French Canadian baseball team, after his release from the Expos in 1982. Ernie Hudson (Ghostbusters) plays the first baseman and only black player on the Senators.

Lee described the film as chronicling the worst part of his life and called it “a Greek tragedy” in a 2015 interview with The Boston Globe.

Bill "Spaceman" Lee throws a pitch during the Goodwill Games between Canada and Cuba in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.
Lee pitching in the Goodwill Games between Canada and Cuba in Nova Scotia. —Stan Grossfield/Globe Staff

The Spaceman, who was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame in 2008, has most recently been in the news for both his politics and his pitching. He broke his own record as the oldest player to win a professional baseball game in 2014 at age 67. Last month, he announced he was running for governor of Vermont, promising political policies to the left of Bernie Sanders.

“You get what you pay for, if you want change, you vote for [Bernie] Sanders or me,” Lee told WCAX. “I’m Bernie-heavy, I’m not Bernie-lite. My ideas were before Bernie. If you want to see money come down from the 2 percent, we’re going to need umbrellas when I’m elected, because it’s going to be raining dollars.”

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In a fun bit of trivia, Spaceman is being executive produced by former All-Star pitcher Eric Gagne, whose dominance with the Los Angeles Dodgers did not carry over during his half-season stint with the Red Sox in 2007. The film will be landing in theaters and on demand August 19.

Check out the full trailer below.

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