Lesley had a brief, but memorable big league career. A first round draft pick of the Cincinnati Reds in 1978, Lesley made his big league debut in 1982 and was a bright spot on a team that lost 101 games that year. He was memorable not so much for his pitching but for his flamboyance after he got an out. The best way to describe Lesley would be as less demonic version of “The Mad Hungarian” Al Hrabrosky. At 6,6 and 230 pounds, Lesley soon earned his own nickname – “The Animal”.
Unlike Hrabrosky who was at war with the world, Lesley’s natural exuberance helped loosen up his teammates. Lesley took it in good stride when Nolan Ryan emulated him one afternoon.
The Reds sold Lesley to the Milwaukee Brewers in 1985 where he earned his only big league win. Lesley then pitched three seasons in Japan where his antics earned him movie and TV appearances. He eventually returned to the U.S. where he made appearances in movies like Mr. Baseball and Little Big League.
Brad Lesley was a character of the game.
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