Fear Strikes Out dives into the turbulent life of baseball player Jimmy Piersall. From his early days in Waterbury, Connecticut, Piersall’s ascent to the Boston Red Sox is marked by the looming presence of his overbearing father, portrayed by Karl Malden. While his athletic prowess earns him a spot on the team, playing an unfamiliar position adds pressure. The intensity culminates during his debut game: after hitting a home run, Piersall’s moment of triumph unravels into a manic episode, leading to his confinement in a mental institution.

This poignant film reveals the psychological struggles underpinning Piersall’s career. The weight of his father’s expectations drives Piersall’s actions, pushing him to the brink. His journey to self-awareness and eventual success spans 17 seasons in Major League Baseball, capturing the resilience of the human spirit amid personal adversity.

Fear Strikes Out | March 28, 1957 (Canada) 6.9
Director: Robert MulliganWriter: Ted Berkman, Raphael Blau, Jimmy PiersallStars: Anthony Perkins, Karl Malden, Norma MooreSummary: True story of the life of Jimmy Piersall, who battled mental illness to achieve stardom in major league baseball.


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