Lesley’s ex-wife, Chiho Svimonoff, told the website 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, the “Little Big League” star was rushed to hospital on Saturday night, and later died there from kidney failure.
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.
The former 6-foot-6-inch athlete went on to showbusiness, appearing on the Japanese game show “Takeshi’s Castle” in 1986, and furthered his credits in a number of movies in the 1990s, including “Mr. Baseball,” “A Boy Called Hate,” “Big Monster on Campus” and the 1994 film “Little Big League,” in which he played an angry pitcher.
On Wednesday, the makers of the Robinson biopic 42 announced at the NLBM that Harrison Ford (who plays Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey), Robinson’s son David, and former Star sportswriter Joe Posnanski will all attend special advance screenings of the film at the AMC Barrywoods 24 theater. They are the only early screenings of the movie outside of Los Angeles.
Tuesday at the museum, NLBM president Bob Kendrick announced the events, which will benefit the museum and the Kansas City Sports Commission. The ticket structure is as follows:
Tickets will only be available online at 42KansasCity.com. For normal movie-going folks, the ticket package are: “Legacy,” which is $72 and includes two drink tickets, unlimited concessions and souvenirs, which were announced as a Kansas City Monarchs ball cap and a 42 poster. Ford will introduce the screening which will be followed by a Q&A led by Posnanski. The “Major Leaguer” ticket is $42 and includes the drinks, unlimited grub and the swag. Since it’s a benefit, individual tickets are tax-deductible.