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The character of sportswriter "Brian McLennan" provides voice-over narration throughout the film. John "Hans" Lobert (1881-1968), a well-regarded third baseman, played professional baseball for fourteen years, including three years as a member of the New York Giants. After coaching at West Point and managing in the minor leagues, Lobert returned to the Giants. From 1945 to 1967, he worked with Carl Hubbell, the former Giants pitcher who directed the team's player development program.
According to a January 27, 1953 Hollywood Reporter news item, Henry Morgan was originally cast in the role of the sportswriter. The film was shot on location at the Giants' training camp in Melbourne, FL. Big Leaguer was dancer Vera-Ellen's first nonmusical role, and her last assignment at M-G-M. The picture also marked Robert Aldrich's film directing debut.