MEMPHIS, TN (Redbirds) – The entire Memphis Redbirds organization was saddened by the sudden passing Friday night of Redbirds broadcaster Charlie Lea at the age of 54. Lea spent 11 wonderful seasons on the Memphis Redbirds broadcast team.
Known for his humble demeanor and kind attitude, Lea was a favorite of anyone who crossed paths with him at AutoZone Park. A native of Orleans, France, he grew up in Memphis and went on to attend Ole Miss, Shelby State Community College and Memphis State University. Lea was drafted by three Major League teams– including the Cardinals –while he was in college, but did not sign. He finally signed with Montreal after the Expos selected him in June 1978 and assigned him to their Double-A affiliate – the Memphis Chicks. On May 10, 1981, Lea threw a no-hitter in a 4-0 win over San Francisco in the second game of a doubleheader at Olympic Stadium. He was the National League's starting pitcher in the 1984 All-Star Game and while earning the win in the 3-1 victory. A shoulder injury ended his career in 1989 with a 62-48 record and 3.54 ERA.
Charlie Lea will be deeply missed by all, as a legendary baseball player but most of all as a remarkable individual.
Funeral arrangements are as follows: