Big Leaguer (1953): Aldrich’s Directing Debut, Sports Drama Starring Edward G. Robinson

Robert Aldrich made his directorial debut with Big Leaguer, a low-budget sports drama, starring Edward G. Robinson.

Big Leaguer was based on an original story by John McNulty, who sold it to producer Matthew Rapf at MGM.

Robinson’s character, Hans Lobert, was inspired by an actual baseball player who was in five Major League Baseball teams and managed the Philadelphia Phillies.

Jeff Richards (third-billed) was a professional ballplayer before he became an actor, and Hall of Fame pitcher Carl Hubbell appears as himself.

“It was not a personal film of my status at the time,” said Aldrich later. “I feel the film was good but not indicative of what I wanted to express in the motion picture medium.”