Tuesday, June 29, 2021

1981 Topps Charlie Lea


The front:  simple dugout photo. Background and border make it a very green card.

The back: That September 24 win was important because it kept the Expos a half game ahead of the Phillies in the NL East. Lea was actually removed in the sixth inning after allowing the Cubs to cut the lead from 5-0 to 5-4. The Phillies took over the East lead the next day anyway, and eventually won the division on the next-to-last day of the season. Lea didn't pitch again until the meaningless Game 162, getting the win in relief.

The player: Charlie Lea was a key member of the Expos starting rotation in the early 1980s. His best season was 1984, when he was an All-Star with a 15-10 record and 2.89 ERA. His career highlight was a no-hitter in 1981. Unfortunately injuries caused him to miss the full 1985 and 1986 seasons, and most of 1987. He came back with the Twins for one year in 1988 but then retired.

The man: After his career Lea was a minor league announcer. He died of a heart attack in 2011.

My collection: I have 27 of his cards, from 1981 to 1989. I would be interested in trading for 1986 ProCards #668.