Bacon-Wrapped Hall of Famers

bacon-phillies

The “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon” is a game based on the theory that everyone is six or fewer steps away from any other person in the world. The game was created to link any Hollywood actor or actress (living or dead) to Kevin Bacon in six degrees or less.

 

To test the theory, you need only to link up with the website called oracleofbacon.org. Let’s say, for example, that your favorite entertainer is Al Jolson. A quick click will tell you that Jolson appeared in the 1936 movie “The Singing Kid”. In that cast was an actor named Emmett Vogan and he was in “City That Never Sleeps” (1953). In that cast was James Andelin who later appeared in “Stir of  Echoes” (1999) with none other than Kevin Bacon. That means Jolson has a “Bacon Number” of 3. So, every time you have a experience that causes you to say, “What a small world”, it gives credence to the theory. To Bacon’s credit, he’s piggybacked (yes, I really said that) onto the phenomenon and created a charitable foundation called Six Degrees, in partnership with Network for Good. You can find more information at SixDegrees.org.

 

A few years ago, the Old Duck penned a column linking Bryce Harper to Babe Ruth in only seven degrees. It was a fun exercise, but took an enormous amount of research and guesswork with the help of the massive database at baseball-reference.com. Now, someone has made the sports exercise of “six degrees” much easier. A fellow named Ben Blatt has built a tool to find the shortest possible connections between 50,000 + professional baseball, football, basketball and hockey players. Two athletes are considered “connected” if they played for the same team during the same season. Just under 18,000 baseball players qualify since the 1870’s.

 

With our new toy, let’s have some fun and connect each of the three inductees of the  Hall of Fame class in 1939 (the first time in Cooperstown) to a current major league star. We’ve chosen players who play the same position as the legends.

 

George Sisler received 86% of the vote in ’39 and was a 1B in the big leagues from 1915-1930. He had a lifetime BA of .340, won the 1922 AL MVP and hit over .400 twice.

 

> Sisler played on the 1928 Washington Senators with…

Ossie Bluege, who played on the 1939 Washington Senators with…

Early Wynn, who played on the 1963 Cleveland Indians with…

Tommy John, who played on the 1988 New York Yankees with…

Al Leiter, who played on the 2005 Florida Marlins with…

 

MIGUEL CABRERA

 

Eddie Collins played 2B in the American League from 1906-1930. He hit .333 for his career, won the 1914 MVP and accumulated 3,315 hits.

 

> Collins played on the 1923 Chicago White Sox with…

Ted Lyons, who played on the 1938 Chicago White Sox with…

Mike Tresh, who played on the 1949 Cleveland Indians with…

Minnie Minoso, who played on the 1980 Chicago White Sox with…

Harold Baines, who played on the 2001 Chicago White Sox with…

Carlos Lee, who played on the 2011 Houston Astros with…

 

JOSE ALTUVE

 

“Wee” Willie Keeler was a 5′ 4″ OF who drove opposing Pitchers crazy from 1892-1910. A lifetime BA of .341 and over 2,900 hits tell the story.

 

> Keeler played on the 1910 New York Giants with…

Red Ames, who played on the 1918 St. Louis Cardinals with…

Charlie Grimm, who played on the 1936 Chicago Cubs with…

Phil Cavarretta, who played on the 1955 Chicago White Sox with…

Minnie Minoso, who played on the 1980 Chicago White Sox with…

Harold Baines, who played on the 1999 Cleveland Indians with…

Russell Branyan, who played on the 2011 L.A. Angels with…

 

MIKE TROUT

 

Needless to say, Minnie Minoso’s two-game appearance for the White Sox in 1980 was essentially ceremonial in nature, but the link exists nonetheless. Interestingly, Baines shows up twice but the connection is to two different teams.

 

How about connecting a major league ballplayer to Kevin Bacon himself? That’s so easy, it only requires two degrees. Chuck Connors is remembered as “The Rifleman” from TV, but he played two seasons in the National League and two additional seasons with the Boston Celtics prior to his acting career. He appeared in “The Silver Whip” (1953) with Robert Wagner who co-starred with Bacon in “Wild Things” (1998).

 

It’s a small world, after all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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