Baseball Players Turned Actors. After writing about baseball player turned actor Syam Lafi, we wondered whether there are famous actors out there who were good at playing baseball. You know, good enough to make their high school or college varsity teams. Or, even better, to make it to the leagues either the minor ones or the big leagues.
Well, it turns out there are several baseball players turned actors. So we decided to do this list:
George Clooney. When he was 16 years old, he managed to land a tryout with the Cincinatti Reds but did not make it. Is he a good baseball player? Apparently. Here’s what he says about his playing skills (via The Enquirer): “I could catch anything. I was a great outfielder in high school. But I couldn’t throw well. I wanted to play pro baseball. I thought that would be it.”
Bob Uecker signed with his hometown team, the Milwaukee Braves, and made his Major League Baseball debut in 1962. He also played for the St. Louis Cardinals (and was a member of the 1964 World Champion club) as well as the Philadelphia Phillies. Bob has 9 acting credits to his name the most prominent of which is as George Owens on the Mr. Belvedere TV series, a role he played for six seasons.
Kurt Russell and dad Bing Russell. The Russells are famous for being actors but they are also baseball players. Russell says (via todayifoundout.com):
I played ball from when I was a kid. It’s just always been in my family. My dad had minor league teams. My great grandfather was a great ballplayer. I played it as long as I could. And I always thought I could do both. I wasn’t really serious about acting — I was serious about baseball. I don’t know if it was more important to me than acting, but I was a young man… and I had geared up to play pro ball from the time I was 13 or 14. The acting was something that just came along. But I made good money acting, so it wasn’t something that I was just going to put aside and pretend it didn’t exist.
Kurt as a baseballer for the El Paso Sun Kings now the El Paso Diablos.
Was Russell a good baseball player? Here’s what minor league teammate Tom Trebelhorn says about Kurt’s skills: “Kurt could hit — that was his strength. He was a switch hitter and had very good bat accuracy — he could put the bat on the ball… The rest of his game suffered from the fact [that] he couldn’t devote enough time to it.” Trebelhorn must know whereof he speaks not only because was he Kurt’s teammate but also because he went on to become the team manager for major league teams such as the Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago Cubs.
By the way, Matt Franco — who played for the Chicago Cubs, the New York Mets, and the Atlanta Braves — is Bing’s grandson and Kurt’s nephew.
More baseball players turned actors after the jump.