Hooray for Hollywood

Baseball and Hollywood have been very good to each other.  Baseball has given Hollywood some wonderful plot lines (and a few really awful ones too). Hollywood has showcased the game in a number of very good movies (and, again, some really awful ones). Real players have graced the silver screen on a number of occasions.  I got curious about finding out if you could field a real team from the players who have been in the movies. It turns out you can.

A couple of caveats. First, I looked for silent films first. Couldn’t find a player at every position, so I decided to stop at 1945. That made it pretty easy. Second, I wanted to player to be in a real movie, not some newsreel type short on last season’s best plays or some such thing. Also no TV and no commercials for razor blades or Mr. Coffee or any other product. Here’s what I found (there are more, but these will do for now).

1b-Hal Chase has two credits, one in 1911, the other in 1914. He plays a ballplayer in both. What, not a gambler?

2b-Nap LaJoie has one credit for a one reeler in 1903, the oldest one I could find.

ss-Honus Wagner has 2 credits, one in 1919 and the other in 1922. The 1919 flick costars Shemp and Moe Howard before they joined with Larry Fine to become the 3 Stooges. Obviously the best acted flick in the lot.

3b-Frank “Home Run” Baker has 2 credits, one in 1913 and the other in 1914.

of-Ty Cobb has 2 credits in 1917 and one in 1921. Later in the 1930’s through 1950’s he does a series of cameos on both the big screen and on TV.

of-Babe Ruth has 10 credits between 1920 and 1942. In most he plays someone named Babe Ruth, but in a 1922 movie called “Babe Comes Home” he plays a ballplayer named Babe Dugan. He is, movie-wise, most famous for playing himself in “Pride of the Yankees.”

of-Mike Donlin was the most successful of the ballplayers in Hollywood. Between 1917 and 1935 Donlin racked up 61 roles, mostly uncredited, in a lot of silent flicks and a few talkies. His most notable film was Keaton’s “The General” in which he played a Union officer.

c-Bill Dickey was in 2 flicks in the 1940s, the most famous being “Pride of the Yankees.”

p-Christy Mathewson has two credits in 1914 and 1915, neither for movies I’ve ever heard of.

 manager-John J. McGraw did two movies, one in 1914, the other in 1919. The 1914 flick was called “Detective Swift” with McGraw in the title role and included a Mrs. Hans Lobert, apparently the wife of the ballplayer.

The are surely others, but it’s not a bad list. Anybody with others to add, feel free.

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