Currently in its 28th season on FOX — with seasons 29 and 30 already ordered — The Simpsons stands as the longest-running weekly primetime scripted series in history, with no apparent end in sight. While all five members of the titular family have their fans — as do most of the other residents of Springfield for that matter — arguably the most popular character to come out of The Simpsons is its affably inept dad, Homer.
Voiced by Dan Castellanetta, Homer has racked up many high-profile accomplishments over the course of his animated life, including going into space, winning a Grammy Award, owning the Denver Broncos, and earning a Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism. However, one of Homer’s greatest achievement’s on a personal level is no doubt leading his workplace to victory over Shelbyville’s Nuclear Power Plant in a high-stakes company vs. company softball game. This took place during the classic season 3 episode entitled ‘Homer at the Bat’, which is routinely cited as one of the best of the entire series.
To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the original airing of’Homer at the Bat’, the National Baseball Hall of Fame has decided to honor Homer’s performance by “inducting” him into their exalted ranks. The event will take place during the annual Hall of Fame Classic Weekend in Cooperstown, specifically on Saturday, May 20. The intent is to honor The Simpsons place within both sports culture and American culture at large.
As part of the festivities, a roundtable discussion of ‘Homer at the Bat’ will also take place, featuring the classic episode’s executive producers Al Jean and Mike Reiss, director Jim Reardon, executive story editor Jeff Martin, and casting director Bonnie Pietila. They’ll also be joined by baseball greats Wade Boggs and Ozzie Smith, who played just two of the multiple MLB ringers recruited by a scheming Mr. Burns to play alongside Homer in the episode. This gathering is free and open to the public. A special Simpsons-themed exhibit will also be opened inside the Hall itself, although that will require paid admission to the building
While some Simpsons episodes have become fondly remembered over time, ‘Homer at the Bat’ was a huge hit even back when it first aired, and was in fact the first Simpsons episode to beat the series’ then Thursday night rival The Cosby Show in the ratings. As Homer would almost certainly yell when notified of his induction, woo hoo!
The Simpsons season 28 airs Sundays at 8pm on FOX.
Source: National Baseball Hall of Fame