Blond, fun-loving Lersch featured a good curve with excellent control and added a knuckleball late in his career. In 1971, he suffered through a personal 11-game losing streak, one less than the Phillie record.
In December 1973, Lersch was mistakenly acquired by Atlanta in a deal that sent Ron Schueler to Philadelphia. Braves executives had confused Lersch with up-and-coming southpaw Randy Lerch. "The way they found out was they called him and said, 'Lefty, we're glad to have you,'" Schueler later recalled. "He said, 'Uh, I'm a righty.'" (BC/JGR)
Contribute your recollections of Barry Lersch by clicking here.
FROM THE BASEBALL CHRONOLOGY
»May 9, 1973: The Reds Johnny Bench slugs three home runs and knocks in seven runs in a 9–7 defeat of Steve Carlton and the Phillies. Bench homers in the 1st, walks in the 3rd, and homers again in the 5th and 7th. It is the 2nd time Bench has hit three home runs in a game against Carlton; the first came on July 26, 1970. Bench ties a major-league record with four consecutive homers, having hit one in his final at bat last night in the Reds 7–1 win. Despite the three homers, Dave Concepcion's 2-run homer in the 9th, off Barry Lersch, is the game-winner.