In 1994, Billy Heywood (Luke Edwards) got to live out every kid’s dream in Little Big League (1994). After the unfortunate passing of his grandfather (Jason Robards), Billy inherited his most prized possessions, the Minnesota Twins and the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Surprisingly, there weren’t any kind of legal stipulations or in-fighting among executives once it was announced that a 12-year-old kid was going to run a Major League baseball team.
But the same couldn’t be said for the locker room, with players providing understandable push-back when Billy named himself the team’s new manager. With the pure intentions of a child, an encyclopedic knowledge of the game, and a couple little league trick plays, though, Billy was able to silence his critics until Ken Griffey Jr. stole his dreams with a wink, a smile, and a ridiculous catch.
21 years after Little Big League was released, the cast members have had enough time to move on and have varying degrees of success. So, if you ever wondered, “Hey, what ever happened to so-and-so from Little Big League?,” look no further. Here’s an explanation of what they’ve been up to.
While a lot of his most recognizable work happened in his childhood, Luke Edwards isn’t one of those former child actors that grew out of the business. He would continue to consistently get roles in projects such as American Pie 2, and Without a Trace and, most recently, the second season of HBO’s True Detective. With word out that Jeepers Creepers 3 is finally happening, we’ll have to wait and see if he reprises his role as Jack Taggart Jr. on that farm with his dad and a matching harpoon waiting for that 23rd day to come around again.
Timothy Busfield played Lou Collins, a veteran Twins player that was not-so-secretly in love with Billy’s mom. At first, Billy was cool with it, but things are bound to get messy when one of your employees is bang– er, dating your mom. His most noteworthy post-Little Big League work would have to be as Danny Concannon on The West Wing. More recently, you can see him portraying Benjamin Franklin in Sleepy Hollow, probably helping Ichabod Crane ward off evil spirits in Revolutionary America. He’s also directed episodes for a lot of popular shows such as Lie to Me, Children’s Hospital, Psych, and Graceland.
If you saw the pitching coach in Little Big League and went “He looks really familiar…”, you were most likely thinking of Beverly Hills Cop. After playing Mac Macnally, John Ashton appeared in JAG and then in Gone Baby Gone (2007) as a detective. In the later years of his life, the pace of his acting work has slowed down, but you’ll be able to see him again in Hot Bath and a Stiff Drink 2 where he’ll have a supporting role along Frankie Muniz in the western about two twin brothers setting aside their differences in the old west. You may have to look kind of hard to see that, of course, but it’s still available to you.
There’s something about Ashley Crow that makes her a strong candidate to play a mother for exceptional teenagers. After being the mother of one of the richest 12-year-olds on the planet in Little Big League, she went on to play Sandra Bennet, mother of Claire Bennet, in Heroes and Jane Blake, grandmother of Cassie Blake in The Secret Circle on The CW.
Kevin Dunn may be one of the most recognizable people on this list, appearing in a steady stream of legal dramas such as Law and Order, JAG, Veep, and the first season of True Detective. He also played Sam Witwicky’s dad in the Transformers series. Up next, he’s set to be the principal in Men of Granite, the story of an underdog high school basketball team in Granite City, Illinois, and their dreams to win the 1940 state championship, according to IMDb.
While Jonathan Silverman is mostly known for his work in Weekend at Bernie’s, he’s still working and can be seen from time-to-time on popular series such as Psych, White Collar, and Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. More consistently, he played a doctor in Getting On, an HBO series focused on the staff of an ECU. Think of it as a far more vulgar Scrubs with even grumpier patients and doctors. He’s also in The CW’s Significant Mother, as the ex of the woman who’s sleeping with her son’s roommate. That’s really the simplest way to describe it…
Scott Patterson is one of the members of Little Big League’s cast that went on to bigger and better things later on in their career. Patterson went on to be a part of the main cast of Gillmore Girls for all seven seasons and he had a leading role in three installations of the Saw franchise as Agent Peter Strahm.
After being cast as the hothead manager that was replaced by a kid that hadn’t even reached puberty yet in Little Big League, Farina went on to appear in Saving Private Ryan, Snatch, Luck, and New Girl. Sadly, Farina passed away in 2013.
Unfortunately, because he passed away in 2000 at the age of 78, Jason Robards didn’t get a lot of acting in after Little Big League. But it wouldn’t be fair to write a list about the movie and not include the man that made it all possible while reminding everyone of the good times they likely had with their grandparents. So, instead of focusing on what happened after the movie, watch this video of his Academy Award winning work in All the President’s Men (1976) with a young Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman.
He may have only played a security guard in Little Big League, but John Beasley has been around the business for a while. He played a football coach in Rudy (1993) before Little Big League, but went on to appear as a father for main characters in Walking Tall (2004), The Soul Man, and The Purge: Anarchy (2014).
Chris “Boomer” Berman – Depending on which sports you watch, you either associate Chris Berman with baseball or football. If you’re the latter, you were probably surprised to see him interview Billy Heywood in Little Big League. Today, “Boomer” is still the host of Sunday NFL Countdown as well as many other ESPN programs.
Lou Piniella – Now retired after being a part of Major League Baseball for fifty years, Lou Piniella is now reaping the benefits of his long career as both a player and a manager. He’s already been induced into the Seattle Mariners’ Hall of Fame, which is the team he appeared as the manager of in the movie, and has a strong case to have his name called for the MLB Hall of Fame in Cooperstown one day.
Ken Griffey, Jr. –Considered one of the most prolific hitters in the 1990s, today, Griffey is retired after a 22-year career and ready for his upcoming first shot at getting into the Hall of Fame next year. Most recently, you may have seen him making a cameo, reenacting his famous rookie card, in the new Macklemore video.
Randy Johnson – The left-handed giant was known as “The Big Unit” – he was 6’10” – and was considered one of the most dominant forces in the game during his era. While he spent his early career with the Seattle Mariners, he’s now retired and works in the front office of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the team he spent the second most time with in his career.