#Shortstops: Baseball cartoons tell story of the game’s popularity
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A VHS cassette tape and signed copy of the episode’s script are in Cooperstown, and the episode’s 25th anniversary will be celebrated prior to the Hall of Fame Classic, Saturday, May 27. That morning, a roundtable discussion featuring various producers and directors from the episode will take place outside the Library entrance in Cooper Park. A SIMPSONS-themed exhibit will also open in the Museum, and the program will be honored prior to the afternoon’s game at Doubleday Field.
“I could draw baseball strips every day,” noted Schulz in a 1999 interview. Schulz, who hailed from northern California, made sure that Charlie Brown was a San Francisco Giants fan.
Warner Brothers also employed baseball in numerous Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons, including 1946’s “Baseball Bugs,” where Bugs Bunny plays all nine positions at once against the Gashouse Gorillas. Foghorn Leghorn was involved in another animated short, 1954’s “Little Boy Boo,” where he attempted to teach baseball to a youngster, only to discover he was the one being schooled.
Hall of Famers also made their way into other animated features. The Library has a copy of “Willie Mays and the Say Hey Kid,” an hour-long 1972 film that was part of The ABC Saturday Superstar Movie. Mays becomes a cartoon when making a difficult catch to help the Giants win the pennant, and it is learned that he is the godfather of an orphan girl he cares for.
Matt Rothenberg is a freelance writer from Ossining, N.Y.