Brad Lesley only spent four years in the Major Leagues as a relief pitcher; three years in Cincinnati, one in Milwaukee. He only racked up six saves in those four years, and a lifetime win-loss record of 1-3. He passed away at a hospital in Marina Del Rey on Saturday night. Kidney failure. He was 54 years old.
You may not remember him from his baseball career (unless you’re a Reds fan, and even then it’s iffy), but if you’re like me and spent a chunk of your childhood growing up in the 1990s, you’ll remember his film work. Lesley appeared in a handful of baseball movies in the 90s, including a role in Tom Selleck’s Mr. Baseball and his memorable turn as John ‘Blackout’ Gatling, aka “the mean guy with the goatee” from Little Big League.
Various obits mentioned that he had a role in Space Jam as himself, a role hand-picked for him by Michael Jordan, but it’s not listed on his IMDB page and I can’t spot him anywhere on my … uh, friend’s Space Jam DVD. I can confirm his appearances on ‘Takeshi’s Castle’/'Most Extreme Elimination Challenge,’ though, which makes him amazing whether your remember his movie career or not.
Rest in peace, Animal. We won’t forget you, and I’m sorry about Perez Hilton putting watermarks on baseball cards to claim them: