Simpsons Baseball References
The Simpsons, which airs on FOX, is one of America's longest-running animated television shows. There have been many, many Simpsons episodes relating to baseball.
Homer at the Bat
The most famous baseball episode Homer at the Bat details C. Montgomery Burns's attempt to stack his company softball team with Major League Baseball stars in order to win a bet with a competing nuclear plant owner. It was first broadcast on February 20, 1992. The episode became such a cultural touchstone that on May 27, 2017, the Hall of Fame organized a round-table discussion featuring executive producers Al Jean and Mike Rice and others who worked on the production, as well as Hall of Famers Wade Boggs and Ozzie Smith, who were among the players who lent their voices to the episode. The date was chosen to coincide with the annual Hall of Fame Legends Game, to ensure maximum exposure for the event.
The players' actual voices and likenesses were used in the episode. Appearing in the episode were:
- Wade Boggs
- Jose Canseco
- Roger Clemens
- Ken Griffey, Jr.
- Don Mattingly
- Steve Sax
- Mike Scioscia
- Ozzie Smith
- Darryl Strawberry
Various ailments befall all members of the softball team except, ironically, Darryl Strawberry, who plays Homer's position. The opposing team calls in a left-handed pitcher to face Strawberry with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th and Burns calls upon Homer despite Strawberry's multiple home run game because as Burns puts it, "Son, it's called playing the percentages." Homer wins the game via a walk-off hit batsman.
Other interesting touches in the game. Mattingly cuts off his sideburns, but is suspended for failing to cut off his sideburns, but still feels, "I still like him better than Steinbrenner."
Bart and Lisa chant "Darryl, Darryl" a common chant that Strawberry faced. He silently sheds a tear in the outfield.
In the DVD release of the season, the director's commentary notes that all of the players were great to work with except one who we won't name except his name rhymes with Manseco. Canseco was originally slated to have an extramarital affair with Edna Krabappel, Bart's teacher, but Canseco's then-wife objected.
Players train initially with medicine balls and other old-time equipment.
Burns out of touch with the current day initially hopes to field a team of players presumably from his youth, including:
One of the players he proposes is Jim Creighton, prompting the famous line: "Your left-fielder's been dead for 150 years!".
Lyrics to the song played in the episode (based on "Talkin' Baseball", by Terry Cashman:
"Now Mr. Burns had done it / the power plant had won it/ with Roger Clemens clucking all the while / Mike Scioscia's tragic illness made us smile /while Wade Boggs lay unconscious on the barroom tile/ We're talkin' softball / from Maine to San Diego / talkin' softball / Mattingly and Canseco / Ken Griffey's grotesquely swollen jaw / Steve Sax and his run-in with the law / we're talking Homer / Ozzie and the Straw
Homer works as a mascot at Springfield Isotopes games and eventually gets called up to the big league squad Capital City to serve as an in-game diversion from the Capital City Goofball.
- Bart buys Homer a copy of "Chicken Soup for the Loser." The book "inspired Bill Buckner to open up a chain of laundromats."
- Randy Johnson guest stars and uses his 6'10 height to pressure Ned Flanders into buying various left-handed products.
- Mr. Burns, Homer's boss, rewards Homer by giving him a Joe DiMaggio baseball card. Burns remarks that "they're letting ethnics into the big leagues now."
- Bart persuades his friend Milhouse to pool his $30 allowance into buying a valuable comic book instead of a Carl Yastrzemski card.
- Apu, the convenience store clerk, buys fake citizenship papers to avoid being deported. To prove his American-ness, he dresses up in a cowboy hat and New York Mets jersey. He tells Homer that the "N.Y. [pronounced "nye"] Mets are my favorite squadron."
- The Capital City Goofball serves in the state senate for the unknown state Springfield is in.
- Marge opens up a pretzel business and hands out free samples at an Isotopes game. Fans, angry that Mr. Burns is chosen to throw out the first pitch, toss the pretzels at him. Whitey Ford tries unsuccessfully to stop them and gets pelted by the pretzels. Homer then remarked that Marge can rename her pretzels as "Whitey Wackers."
- "Homer and Marge Turn a Couple Play"
1722 F77998 SI-1716 Original Airdate: 05/21/06 After a passionate kiss between Marge and Homer airs on the Isotope Jumbotron, struggling second baseman Buck Mitchell turns to the couple for marital advice. Homer and Marge are able to get Buck and his sexy singing wife, Tabitha Vixx, on track and the Isotopes season turns for the better. Things seem to be coming up aces for the Simpsons until Buck catches Homer giving Tabitha a post-show neck massage which results in both couples separating. Homer and Marge later save their marriage and reunite Buck and Tabitha at a key Isotopes game.
- Lisa wants to write a book report about Sacajawea so Marge takes her to the library and all she finds is a biography on Ron Santo.
- The episode titled "C.E. Doh", at the end Bart & Millhouse go to play baseball in the schoolyard and refer to themselves as Esteban Yan & Tomo Ohka.
- Ben Cosman: "The Hall of Fame is honoring 'Homer at the Bat' and 'inducting' Homer into Cooperstown", "Cut 4", mlb.com, February 22, 2017. 
- Emily Hawks and Bill Nowlin, eds.: Nuclear Powered Baseball: Articles inspired by The Simpsons episode Homer at the Bat, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2016. ISBN 978-1-943816-11-8
- Kristie Rieken and Michael Wagaman, Associated Press: "D'oh? No! Homer and 'The Simpsons' team earn Hall tribute", USA Today, May 26, 2017.