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

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 ...
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:

The Big Leagues' Big Love Story 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:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Grover Cleveland Alexander retired from baseball in 1930, yet we see him with a number on the back of his jersey, a practice that did not begin until the following year, 1931. See more »

Quotes

Aimee Alexander: Now remember what Bill Killefer said. He said as long as Alex can stand on his two feet, he's still the pitcher I'd want to have in there when we're in a tough spot.
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

For He's a Jolly Good Fellow
(uncredited)
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
Solid film role for Reagan, well done if dry bio-pic
24 January 2006 | by (California - Film Capitol of the World) – See all my reviews

In "The Winning Team" Reagan is the great early baseball star Grover Cleveland Alexander. Unimaginitive direction makes this film a little dry, but Reagan's solid performance as the pitcher who has a tragic accident early in his career and yet refuses to quit, is well worth the effort to watch it. Reagan gives a realistic portrayal of the flawed hero who makes a surprising comeback and with the help of his wife, and ignores the ugly rumors that surrounded his occasional blackouts. His performance on the field in the final moments, despite suffering from his affliction reflect the courage that it must have taken the real Alexander to stay at the helm till the ship sailed home. I recommend this film to anyone who likes baseball and certainly to fans of Reagan, who has been often disparaged as an actor, when it was usually the director or the film itself that was really bad. I also recommend Kings Row, Hasty Heart and Law and Order, all of which are solid Reagan films.


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