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Baseball and Hollywood

L to R Eric Shea, Pamela Sue Martin, Ernie F. Orsatti Poseidon Adventure (1972) 20th Century Fox

Recently, I was watching a Charles Bronson retrospective. This one was called “The Evil That Men Do”. It was a decent Bronson film, and as I’m watching the end credits, I see the name Ernie F. Orsatti listed as one of the producers. Now the name Ernie Osatti had been stuck in my brain as an actor; and I was right.

He also worked in The Mechanic, The Swarm , and a few others.

Born in Beverly Hills, California. Started in the movie business over 63 years ago at the age of sixteen. Mother was a famous opera singer. His father, Ernie Orsatti, was a famous baseball player who played for The St. Louis Cardinals, known as “the gas house gang.” The “Orsatti” name has been associated with Hollywood for decades, starting with the Orsatti agency, back in the “golden years” of Hollywood.

(Wikipedia) Ernie Orsatti batted and threw left-handed. He played for the 1925 Cedar Rapids Bunnies, with whom he batted .347 and hit 6 home runs. He played for the Syracuse team in the International League in 1926 before splitting the next season between the Houston Buffaloes of the Texas League and the St. Louis Cardinals. In 1928, he spent most of the season with the Minneapolis Millers of the American Association, and he hit .381 (sixth-highest in the league) over 123 games; he played 27 games for the Cardinals and appeared in his first World Series. A Cardinals regular after that point through 1935, Orsatti appeared in three more World Series (1930, 1931 and 1934). He played in 13 World Series games over those four seasons, hitting .273 in those series but only registering two RBIs, both in 1934. The Cardinals won two of those series (1931 and 1934).[1] After Orsatti had a mediocre season in 1935, the Cardinals were prepared to relegate him to their minor-league club in Rochester. In response, Orsatti wired from California that he was retiring from baseball.[2] He made a brief return to the minor leagues in 1939 before retiring from baseball for good.[3]

In 701 games played, Orsatti posted a .306 batting average (663-2165) with 306 runs scored, 10 home runs, 237 RBI, an on-base percentage of .360 and a slugging percentage of .416 in nine seasons. His career fielding percentage was .979.

His brother, Victor Manuel Orsatti was an American talent agent and film producer. As an agent, he represented some of the biggest stars of the 1930s and 1940s, including Judy Garland, Betty Grable, and Edward G. Robinson, as well as directors Frank Capra and George Stevens

Ernie’s other brother, Frank, main claim to fame was the story idea for a James Cagney film, “The Irish in Us”.

(Hopefully this will become a semi rregular series)