The Winning Team (1952)

Approved  |   |  Biography, Drama, Romance  |  20 June 1952 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 578 users  
Reviews: 16 user | 8 critic

Poor health and alcoholism force Grover Cleveland Alexander out of baseball, but through his wife's faithful efforts, he gets a chance for a comeback and redemption.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Aimee Alexander
Grover Cleveland Alexander
Eve Miller ...
Margaret Killefer
James Millican ...
Bill Killefer
Willie Alexander (as Rusty Tamblyn)
George Glasheen
Hugh Sanders ...
Joe McCarthy
Sam Arrants
Walter Baldwin ...
Pa Alexander
Ma Alexander
Bob Lemon ...
Jesse 'Pop' Haines
Jerry Priddy ...
Peanuts Lowery ...
Ballplayer (as Peanuts Lowrey)
George Metkovich ...


In 1911, Grover Cleveland Alexander - Alex to his friends - is a Nebraska country hayseed who says he wants to settle down, marry his girlfriend Aimee Arrants and be a farmer to offer Aimee a secure and stable life. However he always seems to drop everything whenever the opportunity to play baseball, specifically as a pitcher, arises. This focus on baseball does not sit well with either Aimee or her father, who see it as Alex solely wanting to have fun while shirking responsibility. When Alex is asked to pitch in a game against a visiting professional team, he seizes the chance and throws a three hitter en route to winning the game. That leads to a stint on that pro team, the money from which he promises to use to buy Aimee her farm. When an eye injury seems to end his career even before it begins, he changes his focus to being a farmer to please his now wife Aimee Alexander, but thoughts of baseball that can never be in his life still torture him. When his injury does eventually heal... Written by Huggo

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Release Date:

20 June 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Big League  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


According to TMC Ronald Reagan had lobbied hard to play the title role in "The Stratton Story" but Warner Bothers didn't want to take a chance on a baseball film and passed on the project. After "The Stratton Story" became a huge hit they picked up the Grover Cleveland Alexander story about another ball player who made a comeback after being forced from professional baseball. See more »


Not only does much of the stock footage (as well as regular footage) show players wearing numbers on their uniforms long before this was the case, a number of the crowd shots were actually shot in the late 1940s or early '50s, as indicated by the clothing and hairstyles. See more »


Sideshow heckler: How does it feel to be livin' off the fleas?
Grover Cleveland Alexander: Well, it's better than havin' 'em live offa me.
See more »


Featured in Diamonds on the Silver Screen (1992) See more »


Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag and Smile, Smile, Smile!
Music by Felix Powell
Played during the military parade
See more »

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User Reviews

"The Winning Team" 1952 (Doris Day,Ronald Reagan)
4 April 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Not a great film, but entertaining for baseball fans. Ronald Reagan plays Grover Cleveland Alexander, one of the greatest pitchers in big league history.

Doris Day, a great actress, is outstanding as Aimee, his wife (this film is worth watching just because Doris is in it).

The real life Alexander served in World War I and also was an alcoholic.

The movie covers the baseball career of the great pitcher (who won 28 games as a rookie, 373 overall). The movies' biggest fault was it ends with Alexander's heroics in the 1926 World Series in St. Louis upset of the powerful Yankees. In 1928,the Yankees slaughtered the same Cardinals team in a four game sweep, with Alexander, still pitching at age 41, getting shelled in two starts.

Actual baseball footage at the end of the film shows the great Babe Ruth inexplicably trying to steal second base, with the Yankees trailing, down to their last out in the series (he was thrown out).

13 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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