Brad Lesley Dies: 'Little Big League' Star, MLB Player Was 54 (Video)

Monday, 29 Apr 2013 01:35 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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Brad Lesley, the former Brewers Major League Baseball player who went on to a career in show business, died Saturday from kidney failure. He was 54.

Lesley had been suffering from kidney problems and living in a nursing home in California and receiving dialysis for the past seven months, ex-wife Chiho Svimonoff told TMZ. He was rushed to a Marina Del Rey hospital Saturday, where he ultimately passed away.

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Lesley made his major league debut on July 31, 1982, pitching for the Cincinnati Reds, and was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in 1984 and let go from the team in 1985. He played briefly with Japan's Hankyu Braves, where he was nicknamed "The Animal" for his aggressive style.

He then went on to acting, appearing on the Japanese game show "Takeshi's Castle" in 1986. He landed roles in several '90s sports movies, including "Space Jam," "Mr. Baseball," "A Boy Called Hate," and "Big Monster on Campus."

He is perhaps best well known for playing angry pitcher John "Blackout" Gatling in 1994's "Little Big League," in which he snaps at preteen Minnesota Twins owner Billy Heywood (played by Luke Edwards) to "go away!"

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