The Seattle Mariners, in a move earlier this week that probably has nothing to do with nepotism at all, signed a cousin of Robinson Cano whose name happens to be Burt Reynolds. As in, the Burt Reynolds from "Cannonball Run" and "Smokey and the Bandit II." But the Mariners' Burt Reynolds is a 25-year-old utility man who has been playing in the independent leagues for the past three seasons. It's not like he was in "Win, Lose or Draw," or anything.
So what about the other ballplayers out there with already famous names? Guys you might have come across looking through a baseball encyclopedia, a stack of old trading cards or at Baseball-Reference.com. Hey, we could make a team! Well, someone already has, more than once, too. But that doesn't mean we can't form our own.
So here they are, The Burt Reynolds* All-Stars:
Carlos Santana, catcher/Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famer
Not an All-Star yet, but one of the better hitters in the league at his position. He's not so "Smooth" behind the plate, though, and he might have a future at first base as a result.
George Scott, first baseman/"Patton"
"Boomer" Scott had a different middle name than legendary actor George C. Scott, but the the same initial. Scott won eight Gold Gloves and one Academy Award, which he famously refused. One magnificent sun of a [gun].
Matt Broderick, second baseman/"Ferris Bueller"
John Dowd, shortstop/Pete Rose investigator
Jim Morrison, third baseman/'60s crooner
One of the few good players on the 1980 Chicago White Sox, he just given away to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1982 for Eddie Solomon. I'm still bitter about it, too. Of course, he was always more famous for his musical career, which ended with his death in 1971.
Bruce Campbell, designated hitter/B movie dominator
Batted .290/.367/.455 with 106 homers and 86 triples over parts of 13 seasons, mostly with the Cleveland Indians. Would have played longer but he lost his right hand in a bizarre chainsaw accident. Regardless, he swung quite a boomstick.
Davy Jones, outfielder/vocalist of the Monkees/pirate scoundrel
Batted .270/.356/.325 with 207 career steals over 15 seasons, mostly with the Detroit Tigers. Believer in daydreams. Everyone always wanted his locker.
Eddie Murphy, outfielder/Beverly Hills Cop
There have been three Ed Murphys in major league history, but this is the only Eddie. Batted .287/.374/.346 mostly with the Philadelphia Athletics and the Chicago White Sox. Never fulfilled his potential because he liked to "Party All The Time."
Jack Daniels, outfielder/whiskey distiller
Played one season for the 1952 Boston Braves, but only because he brought the liquor. His nickname was "Sour Mash Jack" because some wisenheimers connected him to the alcohol industry. Real clever, fellas.
Alex Ferguson, starting pitcher/soccer manager
Led the league with 17 losses in 1924 for the Red Sox, but his 3.79 ERA was better than average. Pitched his final game at age 32 before transferring to the pitch, where he won 49 trophies as a manager (head coach in soccer), many for Manchester United.
Russ Meyer, starting pitcher/filmmaker
Won 17 games for the Phillies in 1949 but never duplicated that success at any of his other five stops in the bigs. His real impact came in the movies, where Meyer became known as "King of the Nudies." There, it was said, Meyer utilized "campy humor, sly satire and large-breasted women." His most famous work includes "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!" and "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" — which Roger Ebert wrote.
Bob Welch, starting pitcher/guy who left Fleetwood Mac before they got big
Dave Stewart, starting pitcher/the non-Annie Lennox half of Eurythmics
King Lear, starting pitcher/Shakespeare guy
Started 19 games, completing 12 of them, for the Reds from 1914-1915 before descending into madness over his will.
Brian Wilson, relief pitcher/Beach Boy
One made songs that made you want to go swim in the ocean, the other has pitched his whole career near the ocean. Do not, however, share the same love for facial hair.
Roberto Duran, relief pitcher/boxing champion
Allowed 32 walks and 19 earned runs in 26 innings in 1997 and 1998 before the Detroit Tigers said "no mas."
Rick James, relief pitcher/Superfreak
Pitched 4 2/3 for the Chicago Cubs as a 19-year-old in 1967 before he turned to rock 'n' roll before he turned to drugs before he turned to some sick, sick stuff.
Michael Jackson, relief pitcher/Moonwalker
A 17-year veteran who saved a combined 79 games for the Indians in 1998 and 1999 and also performed 13 No. 1 hits.
Charlie Daniels, pitcher/fiddler
Born during the Civil War in Boston. Played one season before fiddlin' on down to Georgia.
Jimmy Hart, first baseman/pro wrestling manager
Played one season with the Baltimore Orioles in 1901 but found more success later as "The Mouth of the South." Eat your heart out, Rick Springfield.
Mike Tyson, infielder/pugilistic thespian
John Fogarty, outfielder/Bayou rocker
The former outfielder for the St. Louis Maroons spelled his last name a little differently but we need a backup who can play center field, which gives credence to this being a real team that can whoop butt.
Don Johnson — Made the All-Star team in '44 and later became the most fluorescently dressed cop Miami has ever seen.
Gary Cooper — Super duper! There were actually two of them in the majors — one with the Astros in 1991 and another with the Braves in 1980. In the majors, they were just a couple of John Does. No matter, each probably considered himself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth.
Jimmy Stewart — Played parts of 10 seasons with the Cubs, Reds and Astros, hitting .237, but was considered the richest man in town anyway. There also was a George Bailey in the minors. Stewart also played ballplayer Monty Stratton in "The Stratton Story" because, duh, he was both an actor and a ballplayer.
[Editor's note: AND COREY HART.]
Big BLS H/N: CBS Eye on Baseball
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