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The Winning Team (1952)

6.5
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 538 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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Stars: Spencer Tracy, Signe Hasso, Hume Cronyn
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Cast

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

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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

And here comes the pitch, Yes, the pitch, the pitch for the warmest, most wonderful, most human story ever told, the true story of Grover Cleveland Alexander! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 June 1952 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Big League  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening credits show Grover Cleveland Alexander's plaque at the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. It is accurate in all respects except one: it shows Ronald Reagan's likeness instead of the real Grover Cleveland Alexander. See more »

Goofs

The fans are shown giving a loud, enthusiastic standing ovation to Alexander for his pitching heroics in the 1926 World Series. However, the games that Alexander won in the 1926 World Series were played in Yankee Stadium, meaning that the fans were rooting for the Yankees, not the Cardinals. The fans were stunned when Babe Ruth was caught stealing at second to end the Series - not just because of the way it ended, but because their team had lost to a team it had been heavily favored to beat. See more »

Quotes

Aimee Alexander: Don't you understand, Rog? It isn't enough that I believe in him. Baseball's got to brlieve in him too!
Rogers Hornsby: What can I do to help Alex?
Aimee Alexander: Please give him back his life, Rog!
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Take Me Out to the Ball Game
(uncredited)
Music by Albert von Tilzer
Lyrics by Jack Norworth
Played during the opening credits and sung by Doris Day
See more »

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User Reviews

 
There's No Period In Baseball Like Those Early 1900s
15 September 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Grover Cleveland Alexander was a remarkable pitcher and lived a very interesting life in an era in which baseball sported the most colorful people in its history: the early 1900s. Some of stories about them, like this one, are very inspiring, too, although they end this bio on Alexander's high note not his tragic demise - but what's wrong with that? People want to leave the theater feeling good, not depressed.

Ronald Reagan does a decent job portraying "Alex," except for the baseball scenes where he doesn't throw or hit like a real big-leaguer. That was common in classic sports films. You don't see that now. Robert Redford ("The Natural"), Kevin Costner (several baseball films) and the like, know how to play the game.

This is corny in spots and it's sugar-coated like some of the other classic sports stories. However, Alexander is shown with his drinking problem and his wife, played by Doris Day, also does the wrong thing walking away from her husband in his time of need.....so you do see some bad with the good. Yet, all ends well and overall, it's an interesting movie.

What's more, the climactic scene actually happened in real life where Alexander turned into a World Series hero despite the odds against him.

If you really want interesting stories, read the real-life accounts of men like Alexander, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Christy Matthewson, John MacGraw, Honus Wagner, Tris Speaker, etc. They are fascinating.


18 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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