The California League: Bacon Edition

It’s back to bacon as I continue my quest to link every minor league team back to Kevin Bacon in a fun but unusual game of Six Degrees Of Separation. This time, I’m taking a look at the California League.

Inland Empire 66ers

Link 1) Perhaps one of the 66ers most notable alumni is Ken Griffey Jr. although the team was known as the San Bernardino Spirit when he played for them in 1988. Griffey was one of numerous MLB players who played themselves in the baseball movie Little Big League alongside Timothy Busfield. Busfield went on to work on another baseball movie as the brother-in-law of Kevin Costner’s Ray Kinsella in Field Of Dreams. Costner starred in JFK with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) During the 1996 season, pitcher Tom Candiotti made a rehab appearance with the San Bernardino Stampede playing in two games before rejoining the Los Angeles Dodgers. He had a bit part playing  Hoyt Wilhem in the Billy Crystal-directed baseball movie *61 about Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. Billy Crystal was in Parental Guidance with Marisa Tomei who was is Crazy, Stupid, Love with Kevin Bacon.

Link 3) Fun fact: NCIS actor Mark Harmon was a part-owner of the San Bernardino team in the late 1980s. The team’s field, Fiscalini Field, was even used for one of Harmon’s movies called Stealing Home which starred Jodie Foster.  She starred in Maverick with Mel Gibson who was in Conspiracy Theory with Julia Roberts. Roberts and Kevin Bacon were costars in Flatliners.

Lake Elsinore Storm

Link 1) Pitcher John Lackey played in 15 games for Lake Elsinore during the 2000 season. He and some of his Boston Red Sox teammates were in the music video for country artist Kevin Fowler’s song Hell Yeah, I Like Beer. Fowler was originally signed to Clint Black’s label Equity Music before it folded in December of 2008. Black had a small cameo in the movie Anger Management with Jack Nicholson who was in A Few Good Men with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Cody Decker spent the 2010 season playing for Lake Elsinore. He had a small role in the season finale of the TV show State Of Affairs which starred Alfre Woodard as President Constance Payton. She was in Beauty Shop with Kevin Bacon.

Lancaster JetHawks

Link 1) Actor Donald Glover was born at Edwards Air Force Base which is close to Lancaster. Glover was in The Martian with Matt Damon. Damon teamed up with Ben Affleck to produce a pilot for a TV show for Showtime called City On A Hill starring Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Lancaster is home not only to the Jethawks but also The Sanctuary Adventist Church. The church has become a tourist attraction after being used in the Kill Bill movies. Daryl Hannah was in Kill Bill Vol. I and starred in Splash alongside Tom Hanks. Hanks and Kevin Bacon were both in the movie Apollo 13.

Modesto Nuts

Link 1) Baseball Hall Of Famer Reggie Jackson played for the Modesto Reds in 1966 playing in 56 games. Jackson was in the movie The Benchwarmers with Rob Schneider. He was in a Saturday Night Live sketch with Kevin Bacon who played a repairman fixing the copier.

Link 2) Another Modest Class of ’66 grad is Tony La Russa. According to IMDB, La Russa and his family had an uncredited cameo in Angels In The Outfield. (Check out the owner’s box during the last game in the movie.) The movie also starred Danny Glover who was in Be Kind Rewind with Mom Def who was in Woodsman with Kevin Bacon.

Link 3) Jose Canseco suited for the Modesto A’s during the 1984 season. In 2011, he was one of the celebrities chosen for The Celebrity Apprentice. Another contestant was Gary Busey. Busey was in The Firm with Tom Cruise who starred alongside Kevin Bacon in A Few Good Men.

Link 4) One of Modesto’s most notable people is filmmaker George Lucas who was born and raised in Modesto. He came up with the story for Raiders Of The Lost Ark which starred Karen Allen. She was in Animal House with Kevin Bacon.

Link 5) Another famous Modesto resident? Jeremy Renner. He was in The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford with Brad Pitt. Pitt was in Interview With A Vampire with Tom Cruise who was in A Few Good Men with Kevin Bacon.

Rancho Cucamonga Quakes

Link 1) Derek Lee spent parts of the 1993, 1994, and 1995 seasons playing for the Quakes. He was a guest star of the ER episode Gravity which aired on October 18, 2007 alongside Linda Cardellini. She was in the movie Super with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Actor Craig Lamar Taylor graduated from Rancho Cucamonga High School. He is best known for playing Malcom’s best friend on the TV show Malcom In The Middle which also starred Bryan Cranston. He was in Rock Of Ages with Catherine Zeta-Jones who was in America’s Sweethearts with Julia Roberts. Roberts and Kevin Bacon both starred in Flatliners.

San Jose Giants

Link 1) Player Jay Johnstone suited up for the San Jose Bee’s during the 1963, 1964, and 1965 seasons. He had a cameo in The Naked Gun: From The Files Of Police Squad! The movie also saw O.J. Simpson with the role of Detective Nordberg. He reprised the role in The Naked Gun 33 1/3 with Olympia Dukakis. She was in Picture Perfect with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Royce Clayton made appearances playing for the San Jose Giants for 28 games in 1989 and 123 games in 1990. He played Miguel Tejada in the movie Moneyball which starred Brad Pitt. He was in Interview With A Vampire alongside Tom Cruise who was in A Few Good Men with Kevin Bacon.

Link 3) Actor Josh Holloway was born in San Jose before his family moved to Georgia when he was a kid. He is most famous for the TV show Lost but was also in the movie Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol which starred Tom Cruise. He was in A Few Good Men with Kevin Bacon.

Stockton Ports

Link 1) Hall Of Famer Mike Piazza played in three games for the Stockton Ports on rehab during the 2007 season. He had a cameo in the movie Two Weeks Notice with Sandra Bullock and Hugh Grant. Bullock was in the movie Loverboy with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Sandra Bullock also plays a role in this link. Infielder Josh Donaldson played 47 games for the Ports during the 2008 season. He also had a small role in season four of the History Channel tv show The Vikings with Travis Fimmel who plays Ragnar. Fimmel was in Surfer, Dude with Matthew McConaughey who worked with Sandra Bullock on A Time To Kill. She was in Loverboy with Kevin Bacon.

Link 3) Jim Morris pitched for Stockton during the 1985 and 1987 seasons. His story about trying to make it to the big leagues later in his career was immortalized in the movie The Rookie starring Dennis Quaid. Quaid was in Playing For Keeps with Catherine Zeta-Jones. She was in America’s Sweethearts with Julia Roberts who costarred with Kevin Bacon in Flatliners.

Visalia Rawhide

Link 1) Pitcher Scott Erickson spent his first season of professional baseball playing for Visalia in 1989. He started the film production company HomeTeam Productions in the mid-2000s and was an executive producer on A Plumm Summer which was released in 2007. Jeff Daniels was The Narrator in that film. He also starred in The Hours with Meryl Streep who was in The River Wild with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Nick Swisher played 49 games for Visalia back in 2002. He is married to actor Joanna Garcia and guest starred on her show Better With You on two episode in 2011. The show also starred Josh Cooke who had a small role in I Love You, Man. J.K. Simmons was in that movie as well as Patriots Day with Kevin Bacon.

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The South Atlantic League: Bacon Edition

It’s back to bacon as I continue my quest to link every minor league team back to Kevin Bacon in a fun but unusual game of Six Degrees Of Separation. This time, I’m taking a look at the South Atlantic League.

Asheville Tourists

Link 1) The Asheville Tourists were part of the classic baseball film Bull Durham starring Kevin Costner. In the film, Costner’s character plays with the Asheville Tourists and breaks the home run record after being cut from the Durham Bulls. Kevin Costner and Kevin Bacon both starred in the movie JFK directed by Oliver Stone.

Link 2) The Asheville Tourists were led to the 1968 championship under manager Sparky Anderson. Anderson was in the Disney Channel movie Tiger Town with Roy Scheider. Scheider was in Still Of The Night with Meryl Streep who was in The River Wild with Kevin Bacon.

Link 3) Actor Chris Chalk was born in Asheville and graduated from Asheville High School. He was in the movie 12 Years A Slave with Brad Pitt who was in Sleepers with Kevin Bacon.

Link 4) Another actor born and raised in Asheville is Paul Schneider. He was in the movie The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford with Brad Pitt who was in Sleepers with Kevin Bacon.

Link 5) Actor Angela Shelton also hails from Asheville. She was an episode of Chicago Hope called Leggo My Ego alongside Hector Elizondo. He was in Pretty Woman with Julia Roberts who starred in Flatliners with Kevin Bacon.

Link 6) Actor Bellamy Young was born and raised in Asheville. She was in Mission Impossible III alongside Tom Cruise. Cruise was in A Few Good Men with Kevin Bacon.

Augusta GreenJackets

Link 1) Kevin Youkilis played in Augusta for parts of the 2001 and 2002 seasons. He also appeared on Season 1, Episode 8 of the Travel Channel show Man vs Food with host Adam Richman. Richman was in an episode of Law & Order: Trial By Jury with Scott Cohen. Cohen was in a movie called Iron Cross alongside Roy Scheider in his last film appearance before he died. Scheider was in Romeo Is Bleeding with Gary Oldman who was in JFK with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Actor Laurence Fishburne was born in Augusta before moving to Brooklyn with his mom when he was a kid. Fishburne was in Mystic River with Kevin Bacon.

Link 3) Actor Danielle Panabaker was also born in Augusta before relocating to a new state. She was in the Disney movie Sky High alongside Kurt Russell. He was in Captain Ron with Martin Short. Short was in The Big Picture with none other than Kevin Bacon.

Charleston RiverDogs

Link 1) RiverDogs’ alum Aaron Judge was on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon on May 15, 2017 where he interviewed Yankees’ fans. Also appearing on that episode was actor Michael Fassbender who was in X-Men: First Class with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Another one of Charleston’s former players is Alex Rodriguez. One of his many ex-girlfriends is Cameron Diaz who was in There’s Something About Mary with Matt Dillon. Dillon was in Wild Things with Kevin Bacon.

Link 3) Actor Thomas Gibson was born and raised in Charleston. While he has starred in Dharma and Greg and Criminal Minds, its his work on the movie Far And Away that leads us to Tom Cruise who starred in A Few Good Men with Kevin Bacon.

Link 4) Model and actor Lauren Hutton was in a movie called Once Bitten with Jim Carrey. Carrey was in Simon Birch with Oliver Platt who was in Loverboy with Kevin Bacon.

Columbia Fireflies

Link 1) While the Columbia Fireflies are relatively new, minor league baseball has been in Columbia for awhile. From 1993-1994, Ron Washington managed the team which was then called the Capital City Bombers. Washington was played by Brent Jennings alongside Brad Pitt who played Billy Beane. Pitt was in Sleepers with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Another Moneyball connection can be made through player David Justice who was with the Columbia Mets for parts of the 1987-1988 seasons. He was played by Stephen Bishop in Moneyball with Brad Pitt who was in Sleepers with Kevin Bacon.

Link 3) Player Adam Wainwright was a member of the 2003 Capital City Bombers. He was in a small movie called Proximity directed by Dan Steadman which came out in 2016. Steadman also directed a movie called Expect Delays with Wendy Shapero. She was the voice of Hermione Granger on an episode of Robot Chicken called I Love Her alongside Seth Green. Green and Kevin Bacon both appeared on the May 11, 2017 episode of The Craig Ferguson Show on SiriusXM.

Link 4) Actor Anna Camp grew up in Columbia and starred in Pitch Perfect with Anna Kendrick. She was in Up In The Air with George Clooney who was in Ocean’s 11 with Julia Roberts. Roberts was in Flatliners with Kevin Bacon.

Link 5) Another actor from Columbia is Lee Thompason Young who was in Friday Night Lights with Garrett Hedlund. Hedlund was in Pan with Hugh Jackman who had a cameo in X-Men: First Class which also starred Kevin Bacon.

Delmarva Shorebirds

Link 1) Actor Alexis Denisof was born in Salisbury, Maryland which the Delmarva Shorebirds call home. He was in The Avengers as The Other appearing in a scene with Loki played by Tom Hiddleston. Hiddleston was in Crimson Peak with Jessica Chastain who appeared on the May 5, 2017 episode of The Graham Norton Show alongside Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Using Alexis Denisof, we can also trace him to Kevin Bacon through another Marvel movie: The Guardians Of The Galaxy. Denisof appears in the film which also stars Djimon Hounsou who was in Beauty Shop with Kevin Bacon.

Link 3) Actor Linda Hamilton was also born in Salisbury. One of her most popular roles is as Sarah Connor in the Terminator movies which also star Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was in True Lies with Bill Paxton who was in Apollo 13 with Kevin Bacon.

Greensboro Grasshoppers

Link 1) Greensboro was a New York Yankees affiliate from 1990-2002 and one of the many players that came through was Derek Jeter. He had a cameo appearance in the movie The Other Guys alongside Mark Wahlberg. Wahlberg starred alongside Kevin Bacon in the movie Patriots Day.

Link 2) Derek Jeter also had a cameo in the movie Anger Management with Jack Nicholson. Nicholson was in A Few Good Men with Kevin Bacon.

Link 3) US speed skater Joey Cheek was born in Greensboro. He appeared on an episode on The Colbert Report on August 12, 2008. Just a few months later, December 9, 2008 to be exact, Kevin Bacon was a guest on the show.

Link 4) Record producer Tony Brown was born in Greensboro. One of the many acts that he produced records for is Reba McEntire. She was in the movie Tremors with Kevin Bacon.

Greenville Drive

Link 1) In the second season of the Netflix show House Of Cards, Kevin Spacey’s character Frank Underwood describes an embarrassing moment where he threw out a first pitch at a Greenville Drive game. Spacey was in Working Girl with Oliver Platt who was in X-Men: First Class with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Even though she grew up in Texas, actor Jaimie Alexander was born in Greenville. Most famous for playing Sif in the Thor movies, she was in The Last Stand with Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was in True Lies with Bill Paxton who was in Apollo 13 with Kevin Bacon.

Link 3) Celebrity chef Tyler Florence was born in Greenville and was guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show for the Sandwich Showdown competition to find the best sandwich in the US. Another frequent guest on The Oprah Winfrey Show? Kevin Bacon.

Hagerstown Suns

Link 1) Pitcher Brian Wilson played for Hagerstown during the 2004 season. Wilson appeared on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno several different times including the episode on November 4, 2010. Also appearing on the show that night was actor Anne Hathaway. She was in The Devil Wears Prada with Meryl Streep who was in The River Wild with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Chris Woodward played in Hagerstown in 1996 and made a guest appearance on Degrassi: The Next Generation, Season 3 Episode 18. Another famous face on the show? Drake. He was in Anchorman 2 with Steve Carell who was in Crazy, Stupid, Love with Kevin Bacon.

Hickory Crawdads

Link 1) Pittsburgh Pirates star Andrew McCutchen played for the Hickory Crawdads and he proposed to his girlfriend on the December 11, 2013 episode of The Ellen Degeneres Show. Another guest on the show that day was Tom Hanks who was in Apollo 13 with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Actor Matthew Settle was born in Hickory. He starred in Band Of Brothers with Tom Hanks who was in Apollo 13 with Kevin Bacon.

Link 3) We can also connect Settle through his work on the TV show Gossip Girl which costarred Blake Lively. She was in The Private Lives of Pippa Lee with Winona Ryder. Ryder was in A Scanner Darkly with Robert Downey Jr. who was in Short Cuts with Chris Penn. Penn was in Footloose with Kevin Bacon.

Kannapolis Intimidators

Link 1) Ricky Williams might be more famous for his football career but he actually spent two years playing minor league baseball in Kannapolis. He also had a cameo in the movie Stuck On You with Greg Kinnear. Kinnear was in As Good As It Gets with Jack Nicholson who starred alongside Kevin Bacon in A Few Good Men.

Lakewood BlueClaws

Link 1) Cole Hamels suited up for Lakewood back in 2003. He is married to Heidi Strobel who was a contestant on Survivor: The Amazon with fellow contestant Jenna Morasca. She was in a Direct-To-DVD movie called Hack! with William Forsythe. He was in Virtuosity with Denzel Washington. He costarred in Safe House with Ryan Reynolds who was in R.I.P.D. with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Another Phillies player making the stop in Lakwood is Ryan Howard who starred as himself on an episode of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia costarring Danny DeVito. DeVito was in Mars Attacks! with Rance Howard who starred alongside Kevin Bacon in Frost/Nixon.

Link 3) Shane Victorino also played in Lakewood and made it to the silver screen. Victorino landed a role on the Hawaii Five-O episode called Kupale that aired on February 20, 2012. One of his costars was Scott Caan who was in a movie called Novocaine with Kevin Bacon who was uncredited on the project.

Lexington Legends

Link 1) During the 2006 season, pitcher Roger Clemens suited up for the Lexington Legends. He was one of several athletes to have cameos in the movie Anger Management alongside Jack Nicholson who was in A Few Good Men with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Actor George Clooney was born in Lexington. He was in Ocean’s 11 with Julia Roberts who costarred with Kevin Bacon in the movie Flatliners.

Link 3) Fellow actor Josh Hopkins was also born in Lexington and he costarred with George Clooney in the movie The Perfect Storm. The film also starred Mark Wahlberg who was in Patriots Day with Kevin Bacon.

Link 4) Another product of Lexington is actor Michael Shannon who costarred with Kevin Bacon in the movie The Woodsman.

Rome Braves

Link 1) Retired player David Ross suited up for Rome for two games during the 2009 season. He appeared on the 24th season of Dancing With The Stars alongside fellow celebrity contestant actor Heather Morris. She was a dancer in the movie Bedtime Stories with Adam Sandler. Sandler was in Anger Management with Jack Nicholson who starred with Kevin Bacon in A Few Good Men.

West Virginia Power

Link 1) Actor Ann Magnuson was born in Charleston, West Virginia, the city the West Virginia Power call home. She was in the movie Panic Room with Jodie Foster who was in a movie called The Air I Breathe with Kevin Bacon.