Stars on the diamond

These celebs found success on the ballfield

John Beradino

Though he would go on to enjoy an even longer tenure as Dr. Steve Hardy on “General Hospital,” Beradino — then known as Johnny Berardino — spent 11 years in the majors (interrupted in his prime by World War II). He finished 25th in the voting for American League Most Valuable Player in 1946.

Chuck Connors

Before he became “The Rifleman,” Connors was briefly a teammate of Jackie Robinson and the Brooklyn Dodgers, then went to the Chicago Cubs in a trade. In 1951, he hit .239 in 66 games as a first baseman. He also played professional basketball with the Boston Celtics.

Bert Convy

Signed by the Philadelphia Phillies out of North Hollywood High School in 1951, the future Broadway star and TV personality spent two years as a minor-league outfielder with Klamath Falls (Ore.), Miami (Okla.) and Salina (Kansas).

Paul Gleason

Principal Vernon from “The Breakfast Club” played in the minor leagues for the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox in the late ’50s-early ’60s.

Charley Pride

The famed singer pitched for the Memphis Red Sox and Birmingham Black Barons in the Negro Leagues during the 1950s while still a teenager.

Kurt Russell

Not long after “The Computer Wore Tennis Shoes,” Russell made a name for himself in spikes, earning Northwest League All-Star honors as a second baseman with a .385 on-base percentage for Bend (Ore.) in the Angels organization. A torn rotator cuff led to his retirement and return to acting.

Jack Scalia

The longtime film and television actor was the third player selected in the 1971 draft, but he injured his back and then his shoulder while in the Montreal Expos organization.

Ron Shelton

The “Bull Durham” director learned firsthand about the minors from 1966 to 1971, originally as a pitcher before switching to second base, peaking at the AAA level, just below the majors.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety