Thoughts of Home Run Homer bring back fond memories
We're talkin' softball
Maine to San Diego.
Mattingly and Canseco.
Try not to hum Terry Cashman's tune after reading those words, still strong after 25 years. Saturday the Baseball Hall of Fame celebrated The Simpsons, and "Homer at the Bat," one of the classic episodes of a television series' long and fulfilling run by opening a Simpsons-themed exhibit along with a presentation to Homer Simpson himself.
Why is this sports? Well, because it's fun, that's why.
It shows the impact that baseball and all sports have on popular culture and life in general. This episode stands 25 years later and still gets the giggles going when you think of those unforgettable moments like Ken Griffey Jr. suffering from gigantism by drinking nerve tonic, or Roger Clemens clucking like a chicken after being hypnotized.
My favorite line in the episode comes when Mr Burns decides to hire ringers to win the million-dollar bet with Shelbyville's power plant owner. He sounds so proud of himself as he rattles off the names of his favorite baseball players which include Cap Anson, Honus Wagner and Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown.
It was then that Smithers, always a yes man and person to do anything Burns says, has to break the news to Burns that all of those superstars of the early 1900s could not make the roster.
"I'm afraid all of those players have retired and, uh... passed on," Smithers said. "In fact, your right-fielder has been dead for a hundred and thirty years."
So from there Burns and Smithers gather together the best players of the day, an All-Star lineup of Don Mattingly, Steve Sax, Wade Boggs, Ozzie Smith, Jose Canseco, Griffey Jr, Darryl Strawberry, Mike Scioscia and Clemens.
Not a bad team to look at, even today, except for Canseco and Clemens and all their ties to steroids.
What made the episode great is the calamities that befell the Springfield nine. From Clemens thinking he was a chicken after being hypnotized (could have used that for his congressional hearing), to Ozzie Smith falling into the Springfield Mystery Spot, to Steve Sax getting arrested by Springfield's finest officers for crimes committed in New York, the maladies were pointed and hilarious.
Canseco didn't like his original plotline that involved being delayed by having relations with Mrs. Crabapple, Bart Simpson's teacher. Canseco wanted to be seen as more of a hero, so the writers made him one, not being able to make the game due to helping retrieve things from a burning house, starting with a baby but devolving to a cat to a player piano to a washer and dryer.
Very interesting coming from the guy who years later came out with all the dirty laundry of the steroid era.
You always wonder who would be the players selected today for the team.....