July 25, 2016  

Brad Lesley of 'Little Big League' Dies at 54

April 30, 2013 (7:05 am) GMT
The baseball player who starred in the 1994 film directed by Andrew Scheinman passed away last weekend from kidney failure.

Major League Baseball player Brad Lesley died at the age of 54 after he was rushed to Marine Del Rey hospital on Saturday, April 27 night, TMZ reported. Lesley's ex-wife, Chiho Svimonoff, told the site that Lesley had been receiving dialysis due to his kidney problems in a nursing home for seven months.

Lesley began his career as a pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds in 1982 before he was transferred to Milwaukee Brewers in 1984. He then moved to Japan in 1985 to play for the Hankyu Braves for two seasons. He became a TV personality in Japan and appeared as Ajimaru "Animal" Resry on the game show "Takeshi's Castle" as well as an American hero in movie "The Animal Goes to Japan."

He moved back to the U.S., retired from sport and tried acting. He appeared alongside in a 1992 film "Mr. Baseball." In 1994, Lesley became known for playing John "Blackout" Gatling in "Little Big League." Later in 1996, he played himself in 's "Space Jam."

After retiring from playing baseball, Lesley remained being a pitching coach. In an interview with L.A. Times back in 1997, he credited baseball for everything he'd achieved. He said, "Every door I've walked through in my life has been a direct result of my success in baseball, I can never repay baseball enough for the doors it's opened for me. I've been truly blessed. As much as I try to give back to the game, it's never enough."

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