This Day in History: Charlie Lea Throws a No-No
For die-hard baseball fans and memorabilia collectors, Charlie Lea's no-hitter on May 10, 1981 for the Montreal Expos is an iconic moment in baseball history. Lea became the second pitcher in Expos history to throw a no-hitter (the first being Bill Stoneman, twice), and cemented himself as a beloved figure in Montreal Expos lore. In this blog post, we'll explore Lea's journey to the no-hitter, his career as a baseball player, and the enduring legacy of this historic game.
Charlie Lea's baseball career began when he was drafted by the Montreal Expos in the 9th round of the 1978 Major League Baseball draft. He quickly made a name for himself as a talented young pitcher, earning a spot on the Expos' starting rotation in 1980. Lea was known for his fastball that topped out at 95 miles per hour, as well as his control and arsenal of pitches - including a curveball and changeup that he could throw with pinpoint accuracy. On May 10, 1981, Lea took the mound against the San Francisco Giants. He had struggled in his previous start, but was determined to bounce back and prove himself. That day, Lea was in the zone - he struck out eight Giants batters and walked only two, throwing a total of 99 pitches. The Expos won 4-0, and Lea had secured his place in baseball history as the first French born player to throw a no-hitter.
Lea's no-hitter was an important moment for the Montreal Expos franchise, which had struggled in its early years to establish itself as a contender in the National League. Lea's achievement demonstrated the team's potential and sparked excitement among fans. In the years that followed, the Expos would produce a number of notable players and become one of the most respected teams in baseball. Lea's career as a player was unfortunately cut short by injuries. He retired from baseball in 1988 with a record of 62-48, 555 strikeouts, and an ERA of 3.54. He went on to work as a coach and scout, and was widely respected in the baseball community for his talent and leadership.
Charlie Lea's no-hitter on May 10, 1981 for the Montreal Expos is a moment that will always be remembered by baseball fans and collectors. Lea's journey to become an iconic player, his dominant performance on that historic day, and the enduring legacy of his achievement have all contributed to making him a beloved figure in Montreal Expos history. For those who witnessed it firsthand, Lea's no-hitter is a cherished memory - and for those who didn't, it's a moment that deserves recognition and respect.