The Winning Team (1952)

Approved  |   |  Biography, Drama, Romance  |  20 June 1952 (USA)
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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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


To every man who plays for the love of the game....To every woman who has ever played the wonderful game of love.....We promise an experience of heart-warming warmth and excitement. See more »


Approved | See all certifications »




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?


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 »


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 »


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 »


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


Ol' Saint Nicholas
Written by Inez James and Buddy Pepper
Sung by Doris Day at the Christmas gathering
See more »

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User Reviews

Biography from the baseball diamond works hard at incorporating audience good will...
6 December 2010 | by (las vegas, nv) – See all my reviews

Ronald Reagan as Grover Cleveland Alexander, a telephone lineman and would-be farmer in early-1900s Nebraska who harbored one of the best pitching arms in baseball history. First pitching for the Phillies, and later the Cubs and the Cardinals, Alexander was sidelined continually in his career by a baseball accident, the war of 1917, and finally blackouts which were falsely attributed to alcoholism. This Warner Bros. throwaway isn't especially well-written or well-made, with archival footage and false backdrops making up the final third, however Reagan is very appropriate for the lead. Top-billed Doris Day (as Grover's saintly, determined wife) is around for moral support and romantic uplift; Day does what she can with the role, though the part as written is fairly preposterous. **1/2 from ****

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