Actors You Wouldn't Expect to Star in Baseball Movies but Did
These are the guys they cast when Tom Hanks, Jimmy Stewart, Kevin Costner and Gary Cooper weren't available.
- •Anthony Perkins, Fear Strikes Out (1957)He was much more believable as Norman Bates than he was as a baseball hero.
- •William Bendix, The Babe Ruth Story (1948)Bendix was actually quite adept at playing cops, criminals, and of course, Chester A. Riley. The Babe was just not in his wheelhouse.
- •Robert DeNiro, Bang The Drum Slowly (1972)And he spoke with a drawl, too.
- •Ronald Reagan, The Winning Team (1952)He actually comes off more like a future president than a ballplayer. Maybe that's because his character was named after Grover Cleveland.
- •Ray Milland, It Happens Every Spring (1949)Milland was probably an OK choice for the character he played, a college professor who invents a chemical that causes baseballs to avoid bats and allows him to become a star pitcher in the major leagues.
- •(BORDERLINE) Robert Redford, The Natural (1984)This one makes the list because Redford was 48 years old when this film was released. Redford would have been a great choice -- one might even say a "natural" -- if it had been made in the 60's. But by '84 he was a bit long in the tooth for a guy playing a kid from out of nowhere who becomes a baseball phenom.