A Salute to ‘Homer at the Bat’ at Hall of Fame Classic Weekend
Roundtable Discussion, Exhibit Opening to Take Place on May 27 in Cooperstown
Twenty-five years after “Homer at the Bat” originally aired as an episode of THE SIMPSONS, baseball fans still talk about Ozzie Smith falling into the Springfield Mystery Spot. And Wade Boggs’ argument with one of the Springfield locals.
That episode originally aired on FOX on Feb. 20, 1992, 25 years ago this week. In recognition of this anniversary, fans can celebrate America’s favorite animated family – and Americana at its best – during Hall of Fame Classic Weekend.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will pay tribute to THE SIMPSONS’ place in American culture by honoring “Homer at the Bat” on Saturday, May 27. Boggs and Smith, who were portrayed in the unforgettable episode that featured Homer Simpson winning the championship softball game for the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant with a walk-off hit-by-pitch, will join in a roundtable discussion from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. outside the Library entrance to the Hall of Fame in Cooper Park. The discussion, which is free and open to the public, will feature the episode’s executive producers Al Jean and Mike Reiss, director Jim Reardon, executive story editor Jeff Martin, and casting director Bonnie Pietila.
During the roundtable, Homer will be “inducted” into the Hall of Fame. This brief ceremony will be followed with the official ribbon-cutting on a SIMPSONS-themed exhibit display in the Museum. THE SIMPSONS will also be honored prior to the Hall of Fame Classic legends game taking place that afternoon at Cooperstown’s historic Doubleday Field.
“In Cooperstown, we salute baseball’s greatest contributors, preserve its vast history and salute the cultural side of the sport. We are honored to pay tribute to the 25th anniversary of ‘Homer at the Bat,’” said Jeff Idelson, President of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. “THE SIMPSONS has left an impressive imprint on our culture as the longest-running American sitcom, and ‘Homer at the Bat’ remains as popular today as when the episode aired in 1992. Baseball is recognized as our National Pastime due to its wide intersection with American culture over the last two centuries, evident in literature, theater, language, art, music, film and television. THE SIMPSONS is a perfect example of that connection to Americana.”
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“When I struck out in tee-ball, I never dreamed I'd make it to the Hall of Fame,” said Al Jean, one of the earliest writers for THE SIMPSONS, which debuted in 1989 and is currently in its 28th season, airing Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on FOX. “It shows what not following your dreams can do.”
In “Homer at the Bat,” Hall of Famers Smith, Boggs and Ken Griffey Jr. were three of the nine “ringers” brought in by the owner of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, C. Montgomery Burns, to ensure his team’s victory. But almost all of the stars were fated not to play, each having suffered a separate and unique misfortune leading up to the game. The voices of the actual players were used in the episode.
The traditional Hall of Fame Classic Home Run Derby will follow at noon at Doubleday Field as a lead-in to the ninth annual Hall of Fame Classic, a seven-inning legends game at Cooperstown’s historic Doubleday Field featuring six Hall of Famers and recently retired players representing all 30 major league teams. The 2017 Hall of Fame Classic, presented by Ford Motor Company and fueled with assistance from Major League Baseball, highlights a weekend of family entertainment programs designed to celebrate the timeless connection of baseball across generations.
Tickets are required for the 2017 Hall of Fame Classic game. Hall of Fame Classic tickets will go on sale to participants in the Museum’s Membership Program at 9 a.m. EST Monday, March 6, and to non-Members on March 13. A maximum of eight tickets are available per transaction. Game tickets are $12.50 for first and third base seats and $11 for general admission outfield seats. Tickets will go on sale via phone at 1-877-726-9028 or at www.baseballhall.org.
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