Even more important to me than the Chicago Cubs this weekend was the fact that an icon was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame:
Saturday morning, on the steps in front of the Hall of Fame Library, the Baseball Hall of Fame celebrated the 25th anniversary of that baseball episode, “Homer at the Bat.”
It was, admittedly, a little bit out of character for the usually staid Hall of Fame. The vibe in Cooperstown is usually of timelessness, a deep connection to the past, the ghosts of the Babe and Satchel and the Big Train cheerfully hovering.
But on this morning, Simpsons writer Mike Reiss talked about how much he disliked baseball. There was an extended conversation about how handsome Steve Sax is. And the executive producer for “Homer at the Bat,” Al Jean, made a Hall of Fame plea for longtime Tigers double play partners Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell.
I don’t recall the folks in Cooperstown doing anything so goofy or celebrating a fictional entity since the Peanuts exhibit was set up following Charles Schulz’s passing. The Simpsons episode, of course, is one of the most famous and beloved of all time, and even a generation later, folks of all ages can still reference the battle between Barney and Wade Boggs about Pitt the Elder versus Lord Palmerston.
As you can imagine, the protagonist got his very own (fake) plaque:
I’m not sure if I can make it to the Hall of Fame this year, but I did get a membership and I’m glad the piddling dollars I spent is going towards something as awesome as this new exhibit. I haven’t watched the Simpsons regularly in a few years, but the earlier classic episodes will always resonate with me.
“It is with great humility I enter the Hall of Fame,” Simpson said in his recorded acceptance speech. “And it’s about damn time. I’m fatter than Babe Ruth, balder than Ty Cobb and have one more finger than Mordecai ‘Three Finger’ Brown.”
I believe the exhibit is more permanent than the one for the Peanuts, so hopefully I get to see it before it goes away. And of course, Homer had to get one last dig in on the Cubs…
Or as Homer Simpson put it in his Hall of Fame speech: “If the Cubs can win the World Series, and a cartoon can enter the Hall of Fame, there are no rules. The apocalypse is nigh.”
How prescient that was, but that is a story for another day.
Featured Image via MLB.com