A brief history of MLB players sharing names with Hollywood actors
If "Hacksaw Ridge" pulls an upset on Sunday and takes home the Academy Award for Best Picture, Anthony Rizzo can add "Acted in an Oscar-winning film" to his resume. Well, not the Anthony Rizzo you're thinking of -- the Cubs first baseman and World Series champion -- but the Anthony Rizzo whose turn as "Cinema Kissing Soldier" in "Hacksaw Ridge" is one of three credits on his IMDb page.
Though it'd be quite the year if both Anthony Rizzos end up taking home trophies, they are not the first MLB player-actor pair to share a name. There have been a few players in MLB history to share the name of some of Hollywood's most famous actors.
Will Smith, the Major League pitcher, made 53 relief appearances last season, 27 with the Brewers and 26 with the Giants, pitching to a 3.35 ERA on the year and notching 48 strikeouts in 40 1/3 innings. In 2016, Will Smith the actor starred in "Suicide Squad" and "Collateral Beauty." The real collateral beauty, though, is how the reliever wraps presents:
Maybe one of these days #WillMeetsWill will finally happen.
Eddie Murphy played right field for the Philadelphia Athletics -- winning a World Series in 1913 -- and the White Sox. According to SABR, he earned the nickname "Honest Eddie" as one of the non-implicated members of the 1919 Black Sox.
The other Eddie Murphy didn't win a World Series, but he is one of the funniest people to ever star in movies, so that kind of makes up for it.
One Mike Myers made his Major League debut for the Florida Marlins in 1995, the start of a 13-year career of side-arming relief that brought him to nine different teams and included a stint on the 2004 Red Sox.
Another Mike Myers made his "Saturday Night Live" debut on Jan. 21, 1989, and went on to be Wayne Campbell, Austin Powers and Shrek.
Both MLB's David Price and Hollywood's David Price reached high points early in their careers and then kept on chugging. Pitcher David Price won the Cy Young Award in 2012, then led the AL in ERA in 2015 and in innings pitched in 2016. While not the most famous actor on this list, Hollywood's David Price had a speaking role in "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" -- basically the teen-movie equivalent of a Cy Young Award -- and then followed that up by directing "Children of the Corn II: The Final Sacrifice."
Way back when, Sam Jackson played for the Boston Red Stockings and Brooklyn Atlantics. In two seasons from 1871-72, however, Jackson never hit a home run.
The same cannot be said for another Sam Jackson, who's starred in films like "Pulp Fiction," "Jackie Brown" and, of course, as Mace Windu in the Star Wars prequels.
As for that "L" -- the actor's middle initial stands for Leroy. Baseball's Jackson, though, had no legal middle name.
Jimmy Stewart played 10 MLB seasons, half of them with the Cubs. It was a bit of a nondescript career -- he had a lifetime average of .237 -- but he managed to play every position except pitcher, thanks to two-thirds of an inning at catcher with the Reds in 1970.
The actor Jimmy Stewart was probably too busy starring in Alfred Hitchcock films and holiday classics to put together a career as a professional ballplayer, but he did play one on the small screen in 1962's "Flashing Spikes":