His persona came with him to the mound. During his time in Japan, he would put a hex on opposing batters and punch the shoulder of his catcher after he finished off a game. It was in Japan- where Lesley became the first American closer to play for a Nippon League team- that he had his most success and fame. Attendance for the Hankyu Braves increased because of Lesley and the team drove up revenues by having Animal yelling contests and games where fans would dress up like him.
His antics resembled ones of former Tigers pitcher Mark Fidrych. The only difference was the success Fidrych had at the MLB level. Lesley pitched in just 54 games in his career from 1982-1985 for the Reds and Brewers (all but the last 5 with Cincinnati). Despite Fidrych being a starter and Lesley a reliever, Fidrych pitched in just 4 more games (58) than Lesley. More irony lies in the fact that both pitchers passed away at the same age (54), with Fidrych dying at 54 years, 7 months and 30 days and Lesley passing at 54 years, 7 months and 16 days.
After a successful 1985 season at AAA Vancouver (Brewers farm system), his standout season was in 1986 for the Hankyu Braves. He was 5-3, 19 saves, 2.53 for that team and with it, he was embraced for his antics. He developed an arm injury in 1987 that forced him to retire. However, he did substitute a porno video for one that was to be played on the big scoreboard screen to honor opposing pitcher Hisabobu Watanabe. He played a role in the movie "Mr Baseball" with Tom Selleck as well as living the life as the beloved American playing in Japan. He also played a relief pitcher in the movie "Little Big League". Great to pay a little attention to a lesser known character, one who did not get the national attention of more well known ones.