One of the most popular baseball films ever made, Slide, Kelly, Slide also solidified the stardom of MGM leading man William Haines. In his usual brash, cocky manner, Haines is cast as Jim Kelly, a self-styled baseball whiz who talks himself into a job with the New York Yankees. Though his boundless braggadocio is backed up by his talent on the baseball field, Kelly soon alienates himself from the rest of his teammates, who can't stand his arrogant behavior. Veteran Yankee catcher Tom Munson (Harry Carey) -- also the father of Kelly's sweetheart Mary (Sally O'Neil) -- tries to set the young upstart straight, but Kelly isn't interested. Upset because he feels the team isn't on his side, Kelly gets drunk on the eve of an important game in Chicago. Mary doesn't want him to get fired, so she hides him in her hotel room. When Tom shows up he tries to talk some sense into Kelly, but the hot-headed young player unleashes his invective on Tom, calling the aging player an old has-been in full earshot of the entire team. This shameful display thoroughly disillusions Yankee batboy Mickey (Junior Coghlan) who, up to that moment, worshipped Kelly.
After quitting the team, Kelly makes himself scarce during the deciding World Series game. When the team runs out of pitchers, little Mickey decides to seek out Kelly and beg him to return -- only to be struck down by a truck. Realizing that Mickey will recover only if he redeems himself, Kelly returns to the Yankee roster and scores the winning run without resorting to his usual show-off tactics. As the recovered Mickey is wheeled into Yankee Stadium, Kelly reverts to his old boastful self, but by now, everyone -- including Mary -- realizes that our hero is truly a reformed man. Filmed on location at the Yankee's spring training camp in Florida and at Los Angeles' Wrigley Field (one of the best minor-league stadiums in America), Slide, Kelly, Slide boasts cameo appearances from such real-life baseball luminaries as Mike Donlin, Irish Meusel, Bob Meusel, Tony "Poosh-em-Up" Lazzeri, and umpire John "Beans" Reardon. As a bonus, football-star-turned-actor Johnny Mack Brown makes his film debut in a one-scene bit part. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
- Edward Sedgwick