The Southern 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 Southern League.

Biloxi Shuckers

Link 1) New York Mets catcher Barry Lyons was born in Biloxi, Mississippi and he is an ambassador for the Biloxi Shuckers. One of his teammates during the 1987 season with the Mets was Darryl Strawberry who was on an episode of The Simpsons titled Homer At The Bat which aired on February 20, 1992. Another voice on that episode in addition to the many baseball players was Hank Azaria. He played one of Phoebe’s boyfriends on Friends which also costarred Jennifer Aniston who was in Picture Perfect with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Actor Eric Roberts was born in Biloxi and his sister is Julia Roberts. She was in Flatliners with Kevin Bacon.

Link 3) We can also make another connection to Kevin Bacon through Eric Roberts. He was in The Dark Knight with Morgan Freeman who was in Oblivion with Tom Cruise. Cruise and Bacon were both in A Few Good Men.

Birmingham Barons

Link 1) Hall Of Fame pitcher Rollie Fingers suited up for the Birmingham A’s in 1967 and 1968. He and his family competed on a 1983 episode of Family Feud. (You can watch that episode on Youtube here.) Family Feud was hosted by Richard Dawson who was also the game show host in the movie The Running Man which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was in True Lies with Bill Paxton who was in Apollo 13 with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Reggie Jackson, another baseball legend, played in Birmingham alongside Fingers in 1967. Jackson was in The Benchwarmers with Rob Schneider who was in Judge Dredd with Sylvester Stallone. Stallone and Robert De Niro were both in Cop Land. De Niro costarred with Kevin Bacon in Sleepers.

Link 3) In 1994, NBA great Michael Jordan played for the Birmingham Barons after he announced his retirement from the NBA. Jordan and Kevin Bacon both starred in a Hanes commercial that aired in 2006/2007.

Chattanooga Lookouts

Link 1) A notable Lookouts pitcher was Jackie Mitchell, the woman who has become part of baseball legend as possibly striking out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig during an exhibition game between the Lookouts and the New York Yankees in 1931. (The debate still continues if she did or didn’t.) Near the end of his life, Babe Ruth released a book called The Babe Ruth Story which was turned into a movie starring William Bendix in the title role. He was in Boys’ Night Out with James Garner who was in Tank with C. Thomas Howell. Howell was in The Outsiders with Tom Cruise who was in A Few Good Men with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Actress Betty Lou Gerson was born in Chattanooga and she is perhaps best known as the voice of Cruella De Vil in Disney’s 101 Dalmatians. She also had an uncredited cameo in Mary Poppins starring Julie Andrews. Andrews narrated the movie Enchanted which starred Amy Adams who was in Doubt with Meryl Streep. Streep and Kevin Bacon were both in The River Wild.

Link 3) Actress Lori Petty was born in Chattanooga and played a baseball player in the movie A League Of Their Own which costarred Tom Hanks. He was in Apollo 13 with Kevin Bacon.

Jackson Generals

Link 1) Back in 2005, the Jackson Generals were known as the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx and one of the team’s pitchers was David Aardsma. His sister is actress Amanda Aardsma. Her latest project is a movie called Moose On The Loose II with Natasha Charles Parker. She played Bethany’s mom in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle which starred Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. He and Kevin Bacon met at an event for the movie The Game Plan.

(Photo credit: IMDb and WireImage.com)

Link 2) That same season, Nomar Garciaparra played with the Jaxx for four games. He made a cameo appearance in the Boston Teens sketch with Jimmy Fallon which aired on October 14, 2000. Jimmy Fallon has hosted Kevin Bacon on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon multiple times including recreating dances from Footloose.

Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp

Link 1) Nolan Ryan suited up for the then-Jacksonville Suns for three games in 1967. He was on an episode of The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson which aired on July 23, 1973. Ed McMahon was the announcer on the show and he was in 19 episodes of The Tom Show starring Tom Arnold. Arnold was in True Lies with Bill Paxton who was in Apollo 13 with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Tug McGraw played for Jacksonville for parts of the 1966, 1967, and 1968 seasons and he is also the father of country singer Tim McGraw. Tim was in The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock was starred alongside Kevin Bacon in a movie he directed called Loverboy.

Link 3) Actress Ashley Greene is originally from Jacksonville and is perhaps best-known for her role as Alice Cullen in the Twilight movies. In Breaking Dawn-Part 2, she costarred with Dakota Fanning who was in the movie Trapped with Kevin Bacon.

Mississippi Braves

Link 1) Braves’ legend Chipper Jones spent part of the 1992 season with the Greenville Braves playing in 67 games. (The team didn’t rebrand until the Mississippi Braves until 2005.) Several ballplayers, including Jones, presented the Top Ten List on the Late Show with David Letterman which aired on March 5, 2009. A guest on that night’s show was Jon Stewart who was the first person to interview the creators of Six Degrees Of Separation. The creators eventually wrote a book about it called Six Degree Of Kevin Bacon and the forward was written by none other than Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Rock and roll drummer Tommy Aldridge was born in Pearl, Mississippi where the Mississippi Braves play. He has toured with several high profile rock bands over the years including Ozzy Osbourne. Osbourne was in Little Nicky with Reese Witherspoon. She was in Cruel Intentions with Ryan Philipe who was in Crash with Matt Dillon. Dillon and Kevin Bacon both starred in Wild Things.

Mobile BayBears

Link 1) Pitcher Max Scherzer played for Mobile in 2007 and has been in the Majors since 2008. He was part of a TV special called American Graduate Day 2017 which aired on October 14, 2017. According to IMDb, the show focused on highlighting individuals and organizations helping students graduate from high school. Another person highlighted on the show is John Legend. He was in La La Land with Ryan Gosling who was in Crazy, Stupid, Love with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Actor Richard Tyson was born in Mobile and he played bad guy Cullen Crisp in Kindergarten Cop which starred Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was in True Lies with Bill Paxton who was in Apollo 13 with Kevin Bacon.

Montgomery Biscuits

Link 1) The Orlando Rays eventually became the Montgomery Biscuits. Outfielder Jonny Gomes played for the Rays in 2003, the last season before the team moved to Alabama. He was a guest on Conan, along with several other baseball players, that aired on November 5, 2013. Conan has interviewed Kevin Bacon multiple times including how he bribes DJs to not play Footloose.

Link 2) Actress Octavia Spencer was born in Montgomery and she was in Beauty Shop with Kevin Bacon.

Pensacola Blue Wahoos

Link 1) One of the Blue Wahoo’s co-owners is golfer Bubba Watson. On August 9, 2018, he appeared on Match Game which is hosted by Alec Baldwin. Baldwin and Kevin Bacon were both in the movie She’s Having A Baby.

Link 2) Actress Joan Perry was born in Pensacola. She was in Nine Lives Are Not Enough which starred future president Ronald Reagan. He was in The Killers with Angie Dickinson who was in The Last Producer with Benjamin Bratt. He was in Miss Congeniality with Sandra Bullock who was in Loverboy with Kevin Bacon.

Tennessee Smokies

Link 1) Pitcher Jeff Samardzija played for the Smokies in 2008. He was in the credits for Ferrell Takes The Field, a documentary that showcased actor Will Ferrell suiting up and playing for 10 different teams during Spring Training in 2015. Ferrell was in The Campaign with John Lithgow who was in Footloose with Kevin Bacon.

Link 2) Kris Bryant played for the Smokies in 2014. He was on Season 5, Episode 22 of Chicago Fire which aired on May 16, 2017. Chicago Fire also stars Jesse Spencer who was in Flourish with Jennifer Morrison. She was in The Darkness with Kevin Bacon.

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