Deane: Big leaguers on the small screen

From SABR member Bill Deane at WordPress on May 20, 2017:

Baseball and television have gone together since 1939 – in more ways than one.  Besides the televising of major league games, many current and former players and personalities have increased their visibility through TV.  Many (such as Joe “Mr. Coffee” DiMaggio) have appeared pitching products of one kind or another.  Others have tried their hands at acting.

Dozens of big leaguers have appeared on the small screen.  They are most often geographically-advantaged Los Angeles players, and typically portray themselves in guest star roles.  We are indebted to James Mote, whose book Everything Baseball documents baseball connections to TV and just about every other form of art and/or entertainment.

Don Drysdale, the L.A. Dodgers’ Hall of Fame pitcher, was the champion of the prime-time guest spot.  Drysdale – invariably playing himself – appeared four times on The Donna Reed Show, and once each on Leave it to Beaver, Our Man Higgins, The Flying Nun, The Joey Bishop Show, The Brady Bunch, Then Came Bronson, and The Greatest American Hero.

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Originally published: May 23, 2017. Last Updated: May 23, 2017.