The Simpsons will celebrate the 25th anniversary of 'Homer at the Bat' with a new documentary. 'Homer at the Bat' is widely regarded as one of the greatest Simpsons episodes, which is really saying something, as the show has now produced over 600 installments. Despite revolving around a fateful baseball game, 'Homer at the Bat' is pure golden age Simpsons, and contains jokes likely to amuse viewers of all ages and sensibilities, very much including those who don't generally care about sports.
'Homer at the Bat' originally aired during season 3 of The Simpsons, in February 1992. The plot concerns the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant's softball team, which Homer leads to a winning season. With the league championship on the line though, dastardly boss Mr. Burns decides to fill out the team with a bunch of ringers, in order to win a large bet he made with a rival plant owner. Said ringers are a group of real-life MLB greats, including names like Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Ken Griffey Jr., and Darryl Strawberry. The players featured all provided their own voices for the show.
'Homer at the Bat' celebrated its 25th anniversary earlier this year, and FOX is now set to belatedly celebrate this milestone with an hour-long documentary about the episode and its legacy. Entitled Springfield of Dreams: The Legend of Homer Simpson, the Morgan Spurlock-directed documentary will air this Sunday afternoon on FOX, although exactly when depends on where one lives. For markets airing an NFL game at 4pm EST, Springfield of Dreams will air before the game at 3pm. For markets airing an NFL game at 1pm EST, the documentary will instead air after the game at 4:30pm.
Sunday will be a big day for The Simpsons in general, as 8pm EST will see FOX air the series' 28th annual 'Treehouse of Horror' Halloween special. The three stories featured this year include tributes to The Exorcist and Coraline, as well as a bizarre segment in which the ever-hungry Homer actually begins eating himself. Exorcist director William Friedkin, Coraline author Neil Gaiman, and celebrity chef Mario Batali will provide vocal cameos.
The Springfield of Dreams documentary isn't the only notable way that 'Homer at the Bat' has been celebrated in 2017. The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown paid tribute to the episode back in May, even mock inducting Homer into their exalted ranks. Members of the episode's cast and crew were also in attendance for a roundtable discussion. Even after 25 years, 'Homer at the Bat' continues to be influential.
The Simpsons season 29 airs Sundays at 8pm on FOX.