TMZ is reporting that former Major League Baseball player-turned-actor Brad Lesley died this weekend at a hospital in Marina Del Ray, California.
Lesley’s ex-wife, Chiho Svimonoff, told TMZ that the former athlete had been living in a nursing home, where he was receiving dialysis for kidney problems, for the past seven months.
According to Svimonoff, Brad was rushed to hospital on Saturday night, and later died there from kidney failure.
He was 54 years old at the time of his passing.
Nicknamed “The Animal” for his aggressive playing style and unusual appearance (he was 6 feet, 6 inches, with long hair and a big mustache), Lesley played for the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers from 1982-1985 and put together a 1-3 record with 46 strikeouts and a 3.86 ERA.
Brad later traveled across the globe to Japan and played two seasons for the Hankyu Braves.
His record in Japan is 7–5, 24 saves, 60 games over 2 years.
After retiring from baseball, Lesley appeared in several memorable sports movies such as Tom Selleck’s Mr. Baseball and Little Big League, where he played the crazy, mustachioed pitcher John “Blackout” Gatling.
Lesley’s other film credits include Brother (2000, as Moose), Big Monster on Campus (2000, as Arnie), Buddy (1997, as Ali Baba), and A Boy Called Hate (1996, as the Moving Truck Driver).
He also made a brief appearance in Space Jam (1996) (as Himself), after Michael Jordan reportedly personally asked Brad to star in the film.
RIP Brad Lesley.