54 Facts About Cliff Lee


Clifton Phifer Lee was born on August 30,1978 and is an American former professional baseball starting pitcher who played for 13 seasons in Major League Baseball.

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Cliff Lee finally came to terms with the Expos after his selection in the fourth round of the 2000 MLB Draft, and he spent two years in their farm system before a trade to Cleveland in 2002.

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Cliff Lee made his MLB debut with his new team that year, and made his first opening day roster in 2004.

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Cliff Lee's early years in Cleveland were marked by a number of temper flares, appearing to intentionally pitch at his opponents' heads and storming off of the mound, but by 2005, he was an established part of the Indians' starting rotation.

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Cliff Lee was traded again that season, this time to the Rangers, with whom he reached another World Series.

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In 2014, Cliff Lee suffered a torn common flexor tendon in his pitching arm, and despite hopes that he would recover without surgery, he did not pitch again.

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Clifton Phifer Cliff Lee was born on August 30,1978, in Benton, Arkansas, to Steve and Sharon Cliff Lee.

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Cliff Lee's father was a local firefighter and one-time city council member.

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Cliff Lee was named Clifton after his maternal grandfather, while Phifer was his mother's maiden name.

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Cliff Lee was able to increase his strikeouts and decrease his walk ratio over the course of his high school career, and pitched two no-hitters as a senior.

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Cliff Lee was selected out of high school by the Florida Marlins of Major League Baseball in the eighth round of the 1997 MLB Draft, but failed to reach contract terms with the team and instead played college baseball for Meridian Community College.

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In 2000, Cliff Lee accepted a scholarship offer to play college baseball for the Arkansas Razorbacks as a junior.

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Cliff Lee ran into issues with his pitching stamina, which forced him to occasionally pitch out of the bullpen.

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Cliff Lee spent the entire 2001 season with the Class A-Advanced Jupiter Hammerheads of the Florida State League during their final year as an affiliate of the Expos.

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Cliff Lee frequently clashed with Jupiter pitching coach Ace Adams over how far he was going in games: Lee wanted to pitch a complete game in every start, and he became upset when Adams responded to Lee's arm fatigue by placing him on rest for several weeks.

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On June 27,2002, Cliff Lee was part of a six-player trade-deadline deal between the Expos and the Cleveland Indians.

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Cliff Lee made his major-league debut on September 15,2002, where he took the loss against the Minnesota Twins.

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Cliff Lee was able to take a shutout into the sixth inning before pitch-count limitations pulled him out of the game.

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At the start of spring training in 2003, Cliff Lee suffered an abdominal strain that kept him from the mound through the start of the regular season.

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Cliff Lee was officially transferred to the 60-day disabled list after spring training ended and before the start of the season.

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Cliff Lee was recalled to Cleveland for the first game of a doubleheader on June 30,2003.

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Cliff Lee began the 2004 MLB season in the Indians' starting rotation, the first time that he had made an opening-day MLB roster.

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Cliff Lee maintained that the pitch was accidental, while Griffey refused to comment on whether or not he believed Cliff Lee was intentionally pitching at his head.

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At the time of the suspension, Cliff Lee had been quarantining in the team's hotel out of concern that he contracted chickenpox from his then-two-year-old son Jaxon.

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Cliff Lee came in fourth in voting for the AL Cy Young Award, an honor which went to Bartolo Colon of the Anaheim Angels.

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Cliff Lee opened the 2006 season as the Indians' No 3 starter, behind Sabathia and Westbrook and ahead of Paul Byrd and Jason Johnson, and as one of the only pitchers still in the final year of his contract.

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Cliff Lee began the 2007 season on the disabled list after suffering a strained right abdominal muscle during spring training.

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Cliff Lee used the demotion to retool his pitching repertoire, moving his fastball and changeup to the outside corner while developing a cutter inspired by that of Mariano Rivera.

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Cliff Lee pitched the first two innings, striking out three and giving up only one hit, a single to Chipper Jones.

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Cliff Lee continued to dominate over the second half of the season.

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Cliff Lee was selected over fellow ace Cole Hamels to start Game 1 of the 2009 National League Division Series against the Colorado Rockies.

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Cliff Lee got the start again in Game 4 for a rematch against Colorado ace Ubaldo Jimenez.

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Cliff Lee was taken by surprise upon hearing of the trade, which had occurred amidst talks of a contract extension with the Phillies, but said he understood why Philadelphia would take "an opportunity to get the best pitcher in baseball" instead.

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The Halladay—Cliff Lee switch was the first time in MLB history that two Cy Young-winning pitchers had been traded on the same day.

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Cliff Lee had been placed on the 15-day disabled list for the abdominal strain on April 4, retroactive to March 26, causing him to miss the start of the 2010 MLB season.

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Cliff Lee returned to the mound on April 30,2010, earning a no decision by striking out eight Rangers in seven innings.

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The New York Yankees were in talks to acquire Cliff Lee by sending catcher Jesus Montero, second baseman David Adams, and pitching prospect Zach McAllister to Seattle.

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Pitching on eight days' rest following the ALCS, Cliff Lee was given the start for Game 1 of the 2010 World Series.

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The game, in which Cliff Lee faced Giants ace Tim Lincecum, was predicted to be a pitchers' duel.

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The decision came as a surprise to many baseball analysts, who did not expect Cliff Lee to turn down an additional $30 million to return to Philadelphia.

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Cliff Lee became part of a rotation known as the "Four Aces", consisting of Lee, Halladay, Hamels, and Oswalt.

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Cliff Lee outscored his opponents as a batter, recording two runs batted in but allowing only one run.

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Cliff Lee finished third in NL Cy Young voting with 90 points and no first-place votes, behind winner Clayton Kershaw, who received 207 points and 27 first-place votes, and Halladay, who recorded 133 points and four first-place votes.

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Cliff Lee faced pitch-count difficulties for the first time in his Philadelphia career: in one outing against the Boston Red Sox, Lee had thrown 66 pitches by the end of the third inning, mostly from foul balls.

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Cliff Lee's run of 13 starts without a win was the longest of any Cy Young winner since Greg Maddux in 2008.

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Cliff Lee's elbow continued to bother him after the conclusion of the 2014 season, and he was diagnosed during the offseason with a tear in his left common flexor tendon, a career-threatening injury for a 36-year-old pitcher like Lee.

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Cliff Lee did not pitch professionally at all in 2015, and at the end of the season, the Phillies, who had the option of retaining him for another year at $27.

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The following month, Braunecker clarified that Cliff Lee was adjusting to full-time fatherhood, but that he retained an interest in pitching professionally again.

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Cliff Lee was one of 18 new nominees on the 2020 ballot for the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

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Cliff Lee appeared on two out of 397 ballots, falling short of the 5-percent voting threshold required to appear on subsequent ballots.

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Cliff Lee employed a slider, although he rarely included that pitch in discussions of his repertoire.

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Cliff Lee was not known as a power pitcher: in 2010, Lee's average fastball velocity was only 91.

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In 2012, Cliff Lee threw a strike on the first pitch to 71 percent of the batters that he faced, and he had the highest strikeout-to-walk ratio of any pitcher over the age of 33 since Curt Schilling in 2001 and 2002.

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Cliff Lee met his future wife Kristen when they were in middle school, and while the pair were high school acquaintances, they did not start dating until Cliff Lee was in college.

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