The Carolina 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 Carolina League.

Buies Creek Astros

Link 1) Buies Creek is a temporary home for the Astros as they plan to move to nearby Fayetteville after the 2018 season. But there is still a link to Buies Creek through the wide world of Bacon. The playwright Paul Green was born in Buies Creek in 1894. He wrote the screenplay for a 1933 film called State Fair and one of the stars was Will Rogers. Rogers was portrayed by James Whitmore in the one-man play Will Rogers’ USA. Whitmore was in The Shawshank Redemption with Morgan Freeman was who is Seven with Gwynneth Paltrow. She was in The Talented Mr Ripley with Jude Law who was in Closer with Julia Roberts. She was in Flatliners with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Another link can be made through the movie State Fair through its leading lady Janet Gaynor. She was in Young In Heart with Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. He was in Hostage Tower with Peter Fonda. One of Fonda’s co-stars in the move Easy Rider was Jack Nicholson who was in A Few Good Men with Kevin Bacon.

Carolina Mudcats

Link 1) David Wells played with the team which was then known as the Kinston Blue Jays in 1983 and 1984. He was interviewed for the show One On One by Jane Mitchell. Another player interviewed for the show was Derek Jeter. He had a cameo in The Other Guys starring Will Ferrell. Ferrell was in The Campaign with John Lithgow who was in Footloose with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) The Mudcats play in Zebulon, North Carolina. One famous Zebulon native was Clifton Daniel who was Harry Truman’s son-in-law. Truman was portrayed by Gary Sinise in the movie Truman. Sinise and Kevin Bacon both worked together in Apollo 13.

Down East Wood Ducks

Link 1) The Down East Wood Ducks are another relatively new franchise in the Carolina League. They are located in Kinston, North Carolina. Actor Ed Grady was born and raised in Kinston. He played Harry in The Notebook which also starred Ryan Gosling. Gosling and Kevin Bacon were both in Crazy, Stupid Love.

Linke 2) Another actor from Kinston? Jaime Pressly. She was in Not Another Teen Movie with Captain America himself, Chris Evans.  Evans was in Street Kings with Jay Mohr who was in Picture Perfect with Kevin Bacon.

Frederick Keys

Link 1) Ty Kelly suited up for the Frederick Keys during the 2012 season. He has also played for Team Israel at the World Baseball Classic where the team’s mascot is the Mensch on the Bench. The product was featured on the show Shark Tank where it attracted investors Robert Herjavec and Lori Greiner. Herjavec was on season 20 of Dancing With The Stars alongside actor Charlotte McKinney. She had a small role in the movie Flatliners which was a remake of the 1990 film which starred none other than Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Actor Bobby Steggert was born in Frederick and his first film role was in the movie For Richer Or Poorer alongside Kirstie Alley. She had a small cameo in the Kevin Bacon movie She’s Having A Baby.

Link 3) Chef Michael Voltaggio and his brother Bryan are both from Frederick. Michael won season 6 of Top Chef and also had a cameo on the TV show Young and Hungry alongside Emily Osment. She was Lily on Hannah Montana alongside Miley Cyrus. She was part of the voice cast of the Disney movie Bolt with John Travolta who was in The Thin Red Line with Sean Penn. Penn was in Mystic River with Kevin Bacon.

Lynchburg Hillcats

Link 1) One of Lynchburg’s notable alumni is Scott Hatteberg who played for the team in 1991 when they were known as the Lynchburg Red Sox. Hatteberg was portrayed by actor Chris Pratt in the movie Moneyball which starred Brad Pitt. Pitt was in Interview With A Vampire with Tom Cruise who was in A Few Good Men with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Or we can also connect to Kevin Bacon through Chris Pratt himself. Pratt was in the Movie 43 with Emma Stone who was in Crazy, Stupid, Love with Kevin Bacon.

Link 3) Kevin Elster played for the Lynchburg Mets during the 1985 season and also played shortstop Pat Corning in the baseball movie Little Big League. Luke Edwards was the main actor and he was also in two episodes of the second season of True Detective alongside Vince Vaughn. Vaughn was in The Break-Up with Jennifer Aniston who starred alongside Kevin Bacon in Picture Perfect.

Link 4) All-Star Dwight Gooden suited up for the Lynchburg Mets in both 1983 and 1987. In 2011, it was announced that he would be a patient on the fifth season of Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew. Another patient that season was actress Sean Young  who was in Blade Runner with Harrison Ford. He was in Random Hearts with Steve Altes who was in Hollow Man with Kevin Bacon.

Link 5) Another Lynchburg grad is Roger McDowell who played for the Lynchburg Mets in 1982. He also participated in MTV’s Rock N’ Jock Diamond Derby in 1990. One of his teammates was none other than Keanu Reeves. Reeves was in Speed with Beau Starr who was in Where The Truth Lies with Kevin Bacon.

Link 6) Another played from the Lynchburg Mets is Darryl Strawberry who suited up for the squad in 1981. He wrote a book called Don’t Give Up On Me and appeared on the November 15, 2017 episode of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to promote it. Another guest on that night’s show was Gary Oldman who was in JFK with Kevin Bacon.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans

Link 1) Adam LaRoche suited up for the Pelicans in 2001 and 2002. LaRoche is also one of the co-owners of Outdoor Networks show Buck Commander alongside several other high-profile people including Willie Robertson from Duck Dynasty. Robertson also had a cameo in Season 3, Episode 1 of Last Man Standing starring Tim Allen. Allen voiced Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story with Tom Hanks who voiced Woody. Hanks starred alongside Kevin Bacon in Apollo 13.

Link 2) Myrtle Beach is host Nancy O’Dell’s hometown. She was in Scream 2, Scream 3, and Scream 4. Scream 4 also starred Anna Paquin. She was Rogue in the original X-Men trilogy alongside Hugh Jackman. Jackman made a cameo in X-Men: First Class which also starred Kevin Bacon.

Potomac Nationals

Link 1) The Potomac Nationals have been known by several names over the years. Player Gerald Williams found out by suiting up for the Prince William Yankees in 1988 and the Prince William Cannons in 1989. He also appeared on Saturday Night Live in 1997 with a bunch of other baseball players in the sketch Baseball Dreams. Also in that sketch was Will Ferrell who was in The Campaign with John Lithgow who starred with Kevin Bacon in Footloose.

Salem Red Sox

Link 1) In 1993, pitcher Esteban Loaiza played for the team then known as the Salem Buccaneers. He was married to singer Jenni Rivera. She was in the movie Filly Brown with Lou Diamond Phillips who was in Young Guns 2 with Emilio Estevez. He was in The Outsiders with Matt Dillon who was in Wild Things with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Another former Salem player is Hunter Pence who spent the 2005 season with the Salem Avalanche. He was a guest star on Fuller House with John Stamos. Stamos was in Born To Ride with John Stockwell who was in Top Gun with Tom Cruise. Cruise and Kevin Bacon were both in A Few Good Men.

Link 3) Pitcher Kenny Rogers played for the Salem Redbirds in 1986. A few days after he threw his perfect game for the Texas Rangers in 1994, he appeared on the David Letterman show on August 1, 1994. Another guest on the show that night was Cameron Diaz. She was in Knight And Day with Tom Cruise who was in A Few Good Men with Kevin Bacon.

Wilmington Blue Rocks

Link 1) Clay Buchholz suited up for Wilmington during the 2006 season. He is married to Lindsay Clubine who was a model on Deal Or No Deal hosted by Howie Mandel. Mandel was on an episode of the TV show Las Vegas which aired on March 3, 2006. James Caan was also in that episode and he was in The Godfather II with Robert De Niro. De Niro was in Sleepers with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) In 1994, Johnny Damon played for the Blue Rocks. He was on The Celebrity Apprentice 7 with fellow contestant Ian Ziering who was in No Way Back with Lennie Loftin. Loftin and Kevin Bacon were both in the movie Sleepers.

Link 3) Mark Ellis played for Wilmington in 2000 and he was played by actor Brent Dohling in the movie Moneyball starring Brad Pitt. Pitt was in Interview With A Vampire with Tom Cruise who was in A Few Good Men with Kevin Bacon.

Winston-Salem Dash

Link 1) Wade Boggs played for the Winston-Salem Red Sox in 1977. He appeared as himself in the season 10 premiere of It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia alongside Danny DeVito. DeVito was in Mars Attacks! with Rance Howard who was in Frost/Nixon with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) During the 1971 season, Dwight Evans played for the Winston-Salem Red Sox. Evans had a small role in the movie Hall Pass with Owen Wilson. He was in The Internship with Vince Vaughn who costarred with Jennifer Aniston in The Break-Up. She was in Picture Perfect with Kevin Bacon.

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