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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