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A Winner Never Quits
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Written byBurt Prelutsky
Directed byMel Damski
StarringKeith Carradine
Mare Winningham
G.W. Bailey
Dennis Weaver
Ed O'Neill
Theme music composerDana Kaproff
Country of originUnited States
Original languageEnglish
Executive producersDaniel H. Blatt
Robert Singer
ProducersJames Keach
Lynn Raynor
Pixie Lamppu (associate producer)
Frank Pace (associate producer)
Production locationsChattanooga, Tennessee
Long Beach, California
Los Angeles
CinematographyJoseph F. Biroc
EditorMichael A. Stevenson
Running time96 min.
Production companiesColumbia Pictures Television
Sony Pictures Television
Original networkABC
Picture formatColor (Metrocolor)
Audio formatMono
Original releaseApril 14, 1986 (1986-04-14)

A Winner Never Quits is a 1986 television film based on the true story of baseball player Pete Gray, the first one-armed man ever to play major league baseball, hired in 1943 as a "freak attraction" and wartime morale-booster by the Memphis Chicks, Class-A minor league ball club.

Though a success, Gray maintains a tough, defensive veneer, which is softened only by the love of his life Annie and the adulation of baseball fan Nelson Gary Jr., who has also lost an arm (and who would, in real life, become a top minor-league ballplayer himself). With the war depleting big-league baseball's manpower in 1945, Pete Gray finally achieves his goal of entering the Majors when he is hired by the St. Louis Browns.


Raised in the Northeastern Pennsylvania mining town of Nanticoke, Pete Gray loses his right arm while still a young boy. But through the encouragement of his immigrant parents, Antoinette and Peter Wyshner, Sr., and the constant coaching of his older brother Whitey, Gray never gives up on his dream of playing professional baseball. Driven by anger, he finally makes it to the big leagues. But it isn't until he agrees to meet handicapped youngster Nelson Gary, Jr., who idolizes him, that Gray finally comes to terms with several life realizations.


Actor Role
Keith Carradine Pete (Wyshner) Gray
Mare Winningham Annie
G.W. Bailey Tatum
Dennis Weaver Peter Wyshner
Huckleberry Fox Nelson Gary, Jr.
Jack Kehoe Bloom
Fionnula Flanagan Antoinette Wyshner
Ed O'Neill Whitey Wyshner
Dana Delany Nora
Charles Hallahan Nelson Gary Sr.
Mary Jo Deschanel Mrs. Gary
Jeff McCracken Sheldrake
Steve Rees Young Pete Gray
Andrew Lubeskie Young Whitey
Brad Sullivan Taylor
John Hostetter Sergeant
Ted Henning Brook

Home media

A Winner Never Quits was released on VHS on August 18, 1993, by Columbia Tri-Star.