I doubt any Texas Rangers fan was watching Degrassi: The Next Generation on July 2, 2004, would imagine that the baseball player introducing the Downtown Sasquatch would be the team’s skipper seventeen years later. But, here we are. July 2 marked the seventeenth anniversary of the season three episode Rock and Roll High School’s premiere in the United States. Its initial airing was in Canada four months earlier on CTV, but the series continued to air in the United States on the “N” (Nickelodeon affiliate). It was Chris Woodward’s only acting job. The cameo lasted about seven seconds, but that’s more than almost any MLB player I can think of, other than Kevin Youkilis’ role in 1994 in the disturbing family comedy Milk Money.
This year, Degrassi: The Next Generation is celebrating their 20th Anniversary.
So why not talk to one of the lone baseball guys who made a cameo in season 3, Rangers manager Chris Woodward.
I ask him the most important question, does he know @Drake? #StraightUpTX @Rangers pic.twitter.com/sp2GI44XV6
— Alex Plinck🏳️🌈 (@aplinckTX) June 18, 2021
At the time, Woodward was with the Toronto Blue Jays, and considering the filming of the series took place in a production studio in Toronto, it all made sense. “I was the only guy living in Toronto at the time,” Woodward said in an interview back in 2019. “I had to wait all day to say that four-second piece. I had to sit around in a room for two hours by myself.”
Look, I’m not a Degrassi expert, and the only things I know about it are that Drake starred in it, it’s a show produced in Canada, and Charlotte Arnold (who played Sadie in Naturally Sadie) appeared at some point in the series. From what I gathered from reading on the episode, it’s a battle of the bands’ competition between Craig and his ex-girlfriend, but my focus is on the Texas skipper’s seven-second appearance.
According to Woody, none of his kids watched the series (his daughter maybe one episode), but there is one good thing about his cameo. “The only good thing about it is that people think I’m close with Drake,” Woodward told me. Drake appeared in 145 episodes of Degrassi: The Next Generation and a movie in 2008 and eleven mini-series episodes between 2005-2007. “It’s hard for me to say I know him, but I was on the set with him,” Chris said. “He thought it was cool to meet me and now much the opposite.”
2021, the cast of Degrassi is honoring their twentieth anniversary, and thinking that the Texas skipper is a part of that (granted seven seconds) is remarkable. Though, the writing, at least for that part, was painful (the baseball puns hurt). But, hey, at least Woodward has an entry in the Degrassi wiki and has an on-screen credit at the start of the episode. Though I think we all have Joey Gallo’s initial reaction the first time we saw this.
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