MLB Power Rankings: Every MLB Team's Biggest Celebrity Fan
Baseball is America's past time, and Major League Baseball is the personification of the game's elites playing at a level leaps and bounds above the rest of the population. It seems like an elite level of anything draws some of the biggest names in the world to it's stands, and perhaps more accurately, its most expensive seats.
We've seen it time and again. When a team starts heading in the right direction and the franchise is successful, you get a lot of recognizable people in the seats. They have money and they want to be associated with a winning team.
Other times, celebrities come from humble beginnings and spend much of their childhood cheering on their favorite teams. Now that they are popular and have some money to burn, they find bigger and better ways to wear their hearts on their sleeves.
Every team has its biggest fan, and said fan may or may not be a celebrity. But let's take some time to single out some of the biggest names in baseball fandom. The following slideshow will highlight some of the biggest celebrity fans in baseball. How well is your team represented?
Pittsburgh Pirates—Wiz Khalifa
It usually takes a couple of winning seasons for the celebrities to come crawling out of the woodwork for teams like the Pirates, and so the pickings were kind of slim for the Bucs. So I decided to give emerging rap artist Wiz Khalifa the nod here.
It's kind of surprising to see that a guy from North Dakota is a Pirates fan, but the rapper is now stationed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and represents the Bucs with pride. He's often spotted wearing the team's hat and has a song called, "Black and Yellow."
I'm not quite sure what the song was about... but it fits nicely for the Pirates, no?
Seattle Mariners—Dale Chihuly
When this topic first came up, I was kind of in the dark about which celebrity might represent the Seattle Mariners. I did a little searching and didn't get many results. Luckily, I have a friend that lives out in Seattle and I gave him a call. He told me that there was this guy, Dale Chihuly, who wasn't all too famous, but was one of the most successful artists of the modern era and a huge M's fan.
I will take him for his word, because Chihuly kind of gives me the creeps and doesn't seem much like a baseball guy.
He was born in the state of Washington and is renowned for his work in "glass art." Chihuly grew up as a Mariners fan and frequents many games over the course of the season. So it's like they say, if the glass slipper fits...
Arizona Diamondbacks—John McCain
I didn't want to put John McCain here. I really didn't. I scoured the Internet for some famous Diamondbacks fans, and came up pretty much empty-handed. Sure, there were a couple of fans that I could have put here, like Alice Cooper and Don Imus, but those guys are fans in name only. The person I really wanted to put here was Jennie Finch, but her fandom changes with the destination of husband Casey Daigle.
So I had to settle for the one name that actually attends ballgames from time to time, and that is Senator John McCain. I'm sure we all know his story by now. He was pitted against Barack Obama during the 2008 Presidential election, but ultimately didn't win.
Sort of like the Diamondbacks. Zing!
Baltimore Orioles—Michael Phelps
Surprisingly enough, the Orioles have some pretty devoted celebrity fans. I usually think of them as being fair weather "fans" that only want their name mentioned in the same area code when the team is winning. But like I said in the introduction, some of these fans come from humble upbringings and live for baseball. So it's no surprise to me to see that Michael Phelps is a diehard O's fan.
Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Phelps has been a lifelong fan of the Orioles. We all remember his claim to fame during the 2008 summer Olympics, when the swimmer set a new record for medals won in his division, taking home eight gold medals for the United States.
Kansas City Royals—David Cook
The Royals have a rich history, so it's shouldn't surprise anyone that even through the roughest patch in franchise history, they have some devoted fans. Let's face it, though. The Royals aren't going to be winning any big name celebs over for at least the next couple of seasons, so this one would have to be someone with ties to the franchise.
Being born in the state of Missouri and growing up during one of the greatest time periods in the history of the Royals could probably create that tie, and that's exactly the case for popular singer, David Cook. People remember him for winning American Idol, but he's gone on to have a successful career post-Idol as well and is frequently spotted at Kauffman Stadium, either on the field singing the National Anthem or in the stands taking in the game.
Washington Nationals—Paula Deen
I like Paula Deen. I'm not sure why, but she is just a likable person. Not only is she capable of making some of the most delicious food on this side of the Food Network, but she is a big baseball fan and represents her Washington Nationals through the thick and thin (and it's been a lot more thin than thick.)
She's the queen of country cooking, a fan of baseball, and once defeated Tyler Florence and Robert Irvine on an episode of Iron Chef America. Quite the fan, in my book.
Cleveland Indians—Drew Carey
Speaking of likable people, here's Drew Carey.
I think there's a pretty simple explanation as for why Carey gets the nod as the celebrity representative of the Cleveland Indians, but here it goes anyway. The actor and comedian was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and grew up a devoted fan of the Tribe.
Eventually, Carey got the nod for his own television show that took place in Cleveland. He used his sitcom to further launch his career, which includes an induction into the WWE Hall of Fame. An all-around stand up guy, comedian and military veteran, one thing that has never changed is Carey's love of his Indians.
Chicago Cubs—Bill Murray
Having a celebrity or person of relative importance sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the seventh inning stretch at Wrigley Field is one of the more treasured traditions in the history of baseball. So at a glance, with the incredible number of celebrities who have done so over the years, you may think it was a challenge to single out a single celebrity Cubs fan. But is there really a bigger fan of the Cubs than Bill Murray?
His acting career needs no explanation, and I'm not sure his status with the Cubs does either. He's been featured for the seventh inning stretch several times, was a guest color commentator for the team during the 1980's and as you can tell by the photo, even gave Spring Training a shot.
San Diego Padres—Kendra Wilkinson
Okay, so contrary to my popular belief, the Padres don't have many celebrity fans. I mean, what's not to like about San Diego if you're a celebrity? Great culture, beautiful weather. Apparently, the only thing that's missing is a competitive baseball team. (Zing!)
On a serious note (I think), Kendra Wilkinson is a pretty big fan of the Padres. I guess if you're going to have just a couple of famous fans in the stands, a Playboy Bunny is a nice place to start. Of course, Wilkinson was also one of the stars on "The Girl Next Door" and had her own reality TV show featuring her husband, Hank Baskett.
All in all, not a bad fan to have, and as a Philadelphia Phillies fan, I'd happily trade her for the guy yet to appear on this list.
Houston Astros—George H. W. Bush
I'm usually kind of wary about calling former Presidents "fans," but in this case, I think it's fair to say that George H. W. Bush is a really big fan of the Houston Astros, and probably one of the most devoted fans on this list. The 41st President of the United States, who was actually born in Massachusetts, settled down in Texas over the course of his career and became a big fan of Astros.
He's frequently seen at home games, including during the Astros' World Series run in 2005, and at 87 years old, is making sure that people know his level of interest in the Astros is much more than a political cry for attention. He is a fan through and through.
Milwaukee Brewers—Bob Uecker
The Brewers surprised me in lacking a legitimate "celebrity" fan, and for a moment, I didn't want to put Bob Uecker here because he still works, to this day, as a broadcaster for the Brewers. That only lasted for a moment though, because the more I thought about it, the more it became apparent that Uecker is a celebrity fan through and through.
This guy is just a baseball celebrity. Not only did he play the game at the Major League level, but he loaned his legendary voice to one of the greatest baseball movies of all time, "Major League," and has been calling games for the Brew Crew just about ever since.
Even after struggling with medical conditions, the only thing that Uecker wants to do is get back in the booth and stay there, doing what he loves. If that isn't a fan, I'm not sure what is.
New York Mets—Jerry Seinfeld
I went into the New York teams with a "pick your poison" mentality, but the more you think about it, the more it becomes evident that there really are two legitimate fans that represent their respective teams better than anyone else. For the New York Mets, that fan is Jerry Seinfeld.
As the namesake of the most popular comedic sitcom of all-time, I don't think the man needs an introduction. I was surprised to learn that he was born right in the heart of Yankees country in Brooklyn, New York, and somehow grew up to be a Mets fan, despite the number of references to the Yanks' throughout his series.
That said, no one shows their love for the Mets quite like Seinfeld. He's thrown out the first pitch and can be found in the stands wearing his jersey frequently. (Notice how I avoided all of the comedy / comedian / Mets jokes to be had there.)
Florida Marlins—Drew Barrymore and Justin Long
This isn't even a joke. The Marlins get almost no support from their fans during home games, and I just can't put my finger on why. I mean, they have a great young core, a good team, are competitive throughout the season, and yet cannot fill their own seats. Yes, I understand that the ballpark they're playing in is practically falling down, but come on now.
So with that in mind, I had zero expectations when I started my quest for celebrity Marlins fans, and was pleasantly surprised to find this gem. To the left, you see Drew Barrymore and Justin Long making their way to the ballpark. They're both celebrities, and they're both wearing Marlins gear in an odd style, so it's good enough for me.
(Seriously though, they're fans.)
Los Angeles Dodgers—Alyssa Milano
Even with the number of celebrity fans that represent the Dodgers, this one was a no-brainer. Alyssa Milano is one of biggest fans of the Dodgers period, and her celebrity status is just a throw-in. Her love of baseball and of sports in general eventually led her to spawn her own line of female sports apparel, called Touch.
As for why she's a celebrity? She's been popular for most of her life, starting with her role as Samantha Micelli on Who's the Boss? to her regular appearances on Melrose Place, and of course, her role as Phoebe Haliwell the witch on Charmed.
Los Angeles Angels—Holly Madison
Los Angeles is a great town for sports, so it wasn't hard finding a couple of celebrity fans for its pair of teams. What was surprising was that there were two Playboy Bunnies set to make this list, each of whom rooted for a different team. While co-star Kendra Wilkinson is out representing the Padres, Holly Madison is busy showing love for the Angels, seen here throwing out the first pitch.
Surprisingly enough, Madison is actually not a model for Playboy, though she has posed nude with her co-stars on The Girl Next Door before. Aside from the television series, she is best known for being one of Hugh Hefner's girlfriends.
Oakland Athletics—Randy Couture
Randy Couture was a natural fit here. You see what I did there? Anyway, moving on.
Born in the state of Washington, Couture was raised on the west coast and spent a lot of time watching a powerhouse Oakland Athletics team growing up. That's what inspired his fandom which, over the years, has not faded. Seen here throwing out the first pitch, he's a big fan of the A's and is a frequent visitor of The Coliseum in Oakland.
Couture's claim to fame is mixed martial arts, as he quickly became one of the greatest fighters in the history of the UFC. That success helped launch his acting career, his most notable role being Toll Road in The Expendables.
Boston Red Sox—Stephen King
When it comes to Boston Red Sox fans, where do I start? They've been such an imposing presence over the last few decades that they're bound to have a number of celebrity fans. Furthermore, with Red Sox Nation having become so popular (and structural) over the years, you could almost call the highest-ranking officials of Red Sox Nation "celebrities."
But alas, they're not. Instead, I went with one of the most famous and influential writers in the world, and member of Red Sox Nation, Stephen King. Seen here throwing out the first pitch, he's made his love for the Red Sox no secret and much less cryptic than some of his novels.
A true fan, King has watched the Red Sox from Fenway Park and numerous other Major League ballparks, and mentions the team quite frequently in a number of his novels.
Detroit Tigers—Kid Rock
Detroit is a great sports city which boasts a number of celebrity fans including Eminem and Tom Selleck. However, when it comes to the Detroit Tigers, it seems like one name stands out above the rest, and that name is technically a nickname for Robert Ritchie, better known as Kid Rock.
Born and raised in Michigan, Kid Rock grew up a Tigers fan and nothing has changed since. Whether he's at the ballpark to sing the National Anthem, throw out the first pitch or just watch from the stands, he's a popular face.
Though the picture isn't all too flattering, his passion for the Tigers is.
Colorado Rockies—Trey Parker and Matt Stone
The Rockies were actually the hardest team to find a celebrity fan for, which is kind of surprising. This is a team that seems to be competitive every year come September and October, but doesn't boast many big name fans. The Rockies are well-represented though, with one of the most passionate fan bases in baseball. Among them? South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone.
If you want to see an actual picture of Parker and Stone, here they are on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Originally from Houston, Texas, Matt Stone may not have grown up a Rockies fan, but with a little convincing from best friend and Colorado native, Trey Parker, the Rockies have found themselves a pair of recognizable fans.
Toronto Blue Jays—Avril Lavigne
I've been trying to work a couple of Avril Lavigne's song titles into this slide, but it's just not working. As it turns out, I'm not creative enough to plug some of her skater anthems into a slide about baseball, but fret not, her fan status is not affected.
Born in Canada, it was only fitting that Lavigne, seen here throwing out the first pitch, be given the nod in this spot. A lover of baseball to the core, Lavigne has known nothing but success since a young age. She appeared on a stage with Shania Twain before she was old enough to drive, and had a cool $2 million in the bank before she turned 18.
It seems like the Blue Jays are going to need more than a couple of celebrity fans to compete in the tough AL East, however.
St. Louis Cardinals—Nelly
The Cardinals are known for having one of the most passionate, knowledgeable and sincere fan bases in all of sports, and among their ranks is one of the most famous St. Louis natives in the world, rap artist Nelly. Though he was born in Austin, Texas, it isn't hard to see that Nelly's loyalty lies in St. Louis with the Cards.
He's seen at the ballpark frequently, and has thrown out the first pitch numerous times, including at the All-Star Game in 2009, which was held in St. Louis. Nelly looked like a kid in a candy shop.
On a side note, those earrings look like they cost at least as much as my car.
Chicago White Sox—Mayor Richard Daley
You may have opened this slide show and expected to see President Barack Obama here, but not on my slide show. Sure, he's the President, wears his White Sox hat to throw out the first pitch on Opening Day in Washington D.C., and called Mark Buehrle following his perfect game, but is he really a fan? No. So once I ousted Obama as a candidate for this spot, I really, really wanted to put Jenny McCarthy here, but couldn't bring myself to do it.
Instead, I decided to go with another politician and Chicago native, Richard Daley. Born and raised in the city of Chicago, Daley is an actual fan of the White Sox and is seen frequently at the ballpark. Interestingly enough, his father, also named Richard Daley, was once the Mayor of Chicago as well (and also a White Sox fan.)
Tampa Bay Rays—Dick Vitale
Out of teams that only recently began stringing together winning seasons, I'm not sure there is a franchise with more big-name fans than the Rays. A fan base that features names like Hulk Hogan, Brittany Snow and Rob Schneider is rather impressive, and even more impressive is that none of those celebs are its biggest fan.
That honor goes to Dick Vitale, who made his name in broadcasting but has a ton of history in the game of basketball. Throughout his lifetime, he has done it all, between playing, coaching and analyzing, but it was his booming voice that made him popular, and a frequent aside during Rays telecasts. He is a frequent visitor to Tropicana Field, and during the post-season, he's probably louder than the cowbells.
I also found it interesting that Pee-Wee Herman is a fan of the Rays, though he doesn't quite measure up to Vitale.
Texas Rangers—George W. Bush
I may be cheating a bit here by naming George Bush the biggest celebrity fan of the Rangers since at one point in time, he owned part of the team. However, I don't see any reason why you can't own part of the team and also be one of it's biggest fans. That seems to be the case here, especially since Bush no longer owns part of the franchise. He now claims the title of "Biggest Celebrity Rangers Fan."
If Bush found peace in anything through all of the controversy surrounding his political career as President of the United States, it was the Rangers. He is a frequent visitor to the Ballpark in Arlington even after selling his share in the team, and was featured prominently during the Rangers run to the World Series last season.
Now the only question that remains is who is the bigger fan of baseball: Senior, or Junior?
Cincinnati Reds—Nick Lachey
Remember back in the day when that boy band 98 Degrees was popular? Me neither, but I do remember that their lead singer was Nick Lachey, who went on to marry one of the hottest women on the planet (at the time), Jessica Simpson, with whom he also starred on a reality show, in which the latter would make herself look like an idiot for half an hour.
So now that you know why Lachey is famous, I think we can take the higher road and just talk about how he is a fan of the Reds. He was born in Kentucky and grew up as a fan of the Reds, watching them cruise through the National League as the Big Red Machine.
He's thrown out the first pitch on several occasions, has sung the National Anthem and is a frequent visitor to Great American Ballpark.
Does anyone represent "Hotlanta" better than Ludacris? If there is someone, they've slipped my mind. To further his case to an event greater extent, the Atlanta based rapper is a huge fan of the Braves, and can be found frequently around the confines of Turner Field, rapping, throwing out the first pitch, or just taking in a game.
As for his claim to fame, Ludacris has become one of the most universal entertainers alive. He put himself on the map as one of the best rappers of the last few decades and has also showcased his talents in acting, most notably in the Fast and the Furious series.
Having talented players keeps the Braves afloat in the NL East, so having a universally talented entertainer is only fitting here.
San Francisco Giants—The Grateful Dead
The Grateful Dead are one of the most popular bands ever to have taken a stage, and as a result, have accumulated one of the largest followings ever. Their sweet, easy sounds helped inspire a cultural revolution, and it was no coincidence that they were based out of San Francisco, California.
It's also no coincidence that you aren't going to find a celebrity "fan" that just recently crawled out of the woodwork after the Giants' 2010 World Series victory. The Dead have been fans of the Giants for a long, long time, having loaned their arms, voices and cheers to the team.
While a picture of Marisa Miller would have looked nice here, there are no bigger celebrity Giants fans than the Grateful Dead, and most of their "Deadheads," for that matter.
Minnesota Twins—Harmon Killebrew
When I was looking for a celebrity fan, the Twins were in the same boat as the Rockies. They have a great, passionate fan base, but it is highlighted by the many blue collar workers and fans that drive the sport of baseball. Rather than find a borderline celebrity fan that sometimes cheers for the Twins, I thought it was much more appropriate to honor Harmon Killebrew here.
Having passed away just this year, Killebrew was a baseball celebrity. His career needs no explanation, and his love and passion for the Twins speak for themselves. If there was ever a man who cared more about the Twins, I'm hard pressed to find him.
New York Yankees—Billy Crystal
The New York Yankees are the most prolific franchise in the history of sports. They have more championships than years I've spent living. So it goes without saying that when you win as much as the Yankees do, you are going to acquire a good number of fans. In fact, the Yankees have more celebrity fans than the Marlins have fans period. (Zing!)
You can go up and down the list and read names that sound like a celebrity super hotel, including Jay-Z, Jennifer Lopez, LeBron James, Ray Romano, Queen Latifah, and Adam Sandler, and that's just to name a few. But if one man exemplifies what it means to be a fan, it's Billy Crystal.
Crystal has spent his entire life a dedicated fan of the Yanks', born and raised in New York City. After years of playing in the Celebrity Softball Game held annually during the All-Star break, Crystal finally had his ultimate dream come true, when he signed a one-day, Minor League contract with the Yankees.
He went 0-for-1 against Pirates pitcher Paul Maholm and was released just a day later. Ouch.
Philadelphia Phillies—David Beckham
A lot of people are under the impression that David Beckham, who plays soccer for the Los Angeles Galaxy, is a fan of the Los Angeles Angels, but I can tell you that this is not the case. The soccer star, who made his money and fame not only by scoring goals but by proving to be a male model for various industries, is a fan of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Beckham, seen to the left taking pictures with Ryan Howard, is a good friend of Howard's and follows the team frequently. He appears in the stands whenever he gets the chance, and was present for Roy Halladay's post season no-hitter in 2010, when the Phils' ace stymied the Reds.
Honorable mention here to Will Smith, who could probably be thrown up on this slide as well.