Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sick scoreboard card, pt. 6

Topps very nearly earned itself the first-and-only FIVE-disembodied-hand-clap rating for this 1982 Topps baseball card.

Take a look at the scoreboard in the background of this photo. It says that the Giants play the Expos at 1. I am going to take a wild leap and assume that means it's going to be played at 1 p.m. or 1:30 p.m., not 1 a.m.

What a pleasing backdrop to this baseball photo.

Now, if you followed early 1980s baseball, you know that Charlie Lea is known primarily for one thing.

He threw a no-hitter in 1981.

OK, so here we have a photo of Charlie Lea, most likely taken in 1981, the year of that no-hitter, since this card is from the 1982 set.

We also have a photo of Lea taken at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. With a scoreboard announcing a game between the Expos and the Giants.

Lea's no-hitter was against the Giants.

Starting to get interesting, no?


What else do we know about this photo? Well, the picture was taken during the day. And the scoreboard announces that the upcoming game will be played at 1 -- during the day.

Lea's no-hitter was during the day.

It's getting tres intriguing now!

You're thinking that this is a photo of Lea just before he pitched a no-hitter against the Giants in San Francisco. You're thinking, "What a coup by Topps! Fantastique, Topps! You magnificent bastards! You picked THE perfect photo!"

And this is where I crush all of your hopes and dreams into a watery paste.

It's a sham.

Lea's no-hitter against the Giants was in Montreal. The first no-hitter ever in Montreal.

It was also the second game of a doubleheader, which means that game probably started around 4 p.m., not 1 p.m. (it wasn't one of today's "day-night" doubleheaders).

But Topps still probably wanted you to believe that it obtained a photo of Lea prior to his no-hitter. Here is the back of the card:

All it says is Lea pitched a no-hitter against the Giants. It doesn't say where. Perhaps Topps was really, really hoping you wouldn't look it up.

It's cool that they got the mention of the Giants in the photo. But I'm going to have to dock Topps for it's intentional or unintentional sneakery.

Just two disembodied hand-claps for ol' Charlie.


  1. Led me down the garden path, you did.

  2. You fooled me too. I was really hoping it was from that game. That would have been really cool.

    '82 Topps have some really interesting photos.

  3. You tease!

    They did leave just enough info in the photo for us to determine a date for the card though... on Saturday May 16, 1981, Lea tossed a shutout in an afternoon game in Candlestick.

    There was an afternoon game the next day too, but it's extremely unlikely that Lea would be throwing warmup tosses after pitching 9 innings the day before.

  4. That would be Lea's very next start after his no-hitter!

    His no-hitter was May 10th. The following day the Expos headed to the West Coast. They were swept by the Dodgers in 3 games, then lost to the Giants in S.F. The next day Lea threw the shutout.

    Topps was only 6 days off. Looking a little better there!