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Homer Simpson, Grampa Simpson, Barney Gumble, Krusty the Clown, Groundskeeper Willie, and others
Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, Moe Szyslak, Chief Wiggum, Comic Book Guy, Lou, and others
Mr. Burns, Ned Flanders, Principal Skinner, Waylon Smithers, Kent Brockman, and others
Marge Simpson, Patty Bouvier, and Selma Bouvier
Bart Simpson, Nelson Muntz, Ralph Wiggum, Todd Flanders, and others
The Springfield Nuclear Power Plant's softball team had a pathetic 2 and 28 win-loss record the previous season.
The "Springfield Mystery Spot" sign further adds: "Where logic takes a holiday and all laws of nature are meaningless."
Each player's misfortune in act 3:
Steve Sax: Arrested by the police.
Mike Scioscia: Radiation sickness.
Ken Griffey Jr.: Overdose of Nerve Tonic.
Ozzie Smith: Vanished off the face of the earth.
Wade Boggs: Knocked out by Barney.
Jose Canseco: Helping the lady in the house.
Roger Clemens: Hypnotized to be a chicken.
Don Mattingly: Kicked off when he didn't shave his sideburns.
Darryl Strawberry: None, but pulled when the bases were loaded in the 9th inning.
Mr. Burns' proposed lineup and the years they played:
P Mordecai "Three-Finger" Brown (1903-1916)
C Gabby Street (1904-1931);
1B Cap Anson (1871-1897; incidentally, one of the most racist players in baseball history)
2B Napoleon Lajoie (1896-1916)
SS Honus Wagner (1897-1917; arguably the greatest player who ever lived)
3B Pie Traynor (1920-1937; also referenced in "Dancin' Homer")
LF Shoeless Joe Jackson (1908-1920; banned for life in Black Sox Scandal)
CF Harry Hooper (1909-1925)
RF Jim Creighton (a superstar before the game got organized. As Smithers notes, he died in 1862 at the age of 21.)
Mr. Burns' must have been quite the fan from the mid-19th to early 20th century. That team has six Hall-of-Famers (Joe Jackson would have been seven had he not been banned).
In one of the baseball games Rich Moore, David Silverman, and Wes Archer can be seen on the bottom row.
A sign at the Springfield Heights Millionaires Club states that you must have more than one million dollars to enter.
The Heimlich Maneuver poster pictures a man choking on a whole lobster.
Marge wears a Smilin' Joe Fission cap atop her hairdo.
Goof: When Homer gets beaned by the pitcher, Lisa says that it counts as a hit. It doesn't, it would count as a "hit by pitch."
Lenny: Hit one here Charlie!
(Charlie swings his bat, it slips out his hands and goes flying into one of Lenny's shins)
Lenny: (in pain) Aah! Aaah!
Carl: (to Homer) Yeah, and I got my enchanted jock strap!
Rich Man: Would you care to bet a million dollars.
Mr. Burns: Oh, if we're going to bet, why not make it interesting?
Rich Man: What, a million dollars isn't interesting to you?
Mr. Burns: Oh, did you say a million? I'm sorry, my mind was elsewhere. I thought you'd start with a small amount, then we'd slowly bait each other, and . . . well, you know how it goes. Yes, certainly, a million will be fine.
Officer Eddie: (reading Steve Sax's license) Well well, Steve Sax, from New York City.
Officer Lou: I heard some guy got killed in New York City and they never solved the case. But you wouldn't know anything about that now, would you, Steve?
(Lou and Eddie laugh)
Steve Sax: But there are hundreds of unsolved murders in New York City.
Officer Lou: You don't know when to keep your mouth shut, do you, Saxxy Boy?
Umpire: Okay, let's go over the ground rules. You can't leave first until you chug a beer. Any man scoring has to chug a beer. You have to chug a beer at the top of all odd-numbered innings. Oh, and the fourth inning is the beer inning.
Wiggum: Hey, we know how to play softball!
Lisa: Wow, Dad!
Bart: Homer, can I get you a beer?
Lisa: No, I want to get him a beer.
Homer: Kids, kids, kids! You can each get me a beer.
Lisa: You stink Strawberry, we want home run Homer!
Bart: Darryl... Darryl.
Bart and Lisa: Darryl... Darryl!
Marge: Kids, that's not very nice
Lisa: Mom, they're professional athletes, they're used to this kind of thing, it rolls right off their back!
(Cut to close up to Strawberry, who begins to tear up.)
Homer: Oh no! I don't want you to see me sitting on my worthless butt!
Bart: We've seen it, dad!
Ozzie Smith: How long does it take to see this thing? I'm kind of in a hurry.
Mystery Spot Owner: Well it's hard to say my friend, once you go in, you may never come out.
Ozzie Smith: Wow! (puts the money forward) One please! (walks inside and falls into the bottomless hole) Aaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!
Homer: Please please please, I want to make the team. Clemens, did I make the team?
Roger Clemens: You sure did!
Homer: I did? Woohoo! Woohoo! In your face Strawberry!
Roger Clemens: Wait a minute, are you Ken Griffey Jr.?
Roger Clemens: Sorry, didn't mean to get your hopes up.
Homer: You're Darryl Strawberry?
Homer: You play right field?
Homer: I play right field too, so, are you better than me?
Darryl: Well, I've never met you, but…yes.
Carl: That's it?
Lenny: Yeah, I've got a magic bat too!
Carl: And I have an enchanting jockstrap, Heh, heh, heh.
Marge: And the next man wants to hit the ball too...and he does and everyone is happy.
Bart: Uh, mom? Why don't you let me call the game?
Marge: That's alright dear, I can do it.
Marge: Homey, come to bed
Homer: (goes back to bed with a plainer) Homer, go back to the garage!
Homer: Come here, boy, I want to show you something.
Bart: What's that, a homemade bat?
Homer: It's something very special: a homemade bat.
Burns: It's a brain and nerve tonic, full of proteins and electromagnetic juices.
Griffey: (takes a sip) Wow! It's like there's a party in my mouth and everybody's invited!
Homer: It was a lightning storm and I'd locked myself out. So, sheltering myself with a large piece of sheet metal, I ran and took shelter under the largest tree I could find.
Hypnotist: You are all very good players
Team: We are all very good players.
Hypnotist: You will beat Shelbyville.
Team: We will beat Shelbyville.
Hypnotist: You will give 110 percent.
Team: That's impossible no one can give more than 100 percent. By definition that's the most any one can give.
Burns: You, Strawberry, hit a home run.
Strawberry: Okay, skip.
(hits a home run)
Burns: Ha-ha! I told him to do that.
Smithers: Brilliant strategy sir.
Well, Mr. Burns had done it,
The power plant had won it,
With Roger Clemens clucking all the while.
Mike Scoscia's tragic illness made us smile,
While Wade Boggs lay unconscious on the barroom tile.
We're talking softball,
From Maine to San Diego.
We're talking softball,
Mattingly and Canseco.
Ken Griffey's grotesquely swollen jaw,
Steve Sax and his run-in with the law,
We're talking Ho-mer,
Ozzie, and the Straw!
The DVD commentary tells about how Harry Shearer didn't like this story at all. That was bad for him, because many of his characters (Mr. Burns, Smithers, Lenny) are all playing major roles in the episode.
The 'Audio Outtakes' Easter egg on the Season Three DVD has several clips from the baseball players in this episode, including Roger Clemens clucking like a chicken, something with Ken Griffey, Jr., Darryl Strawberry doing several takes of "I got it, I got it!", and Ozzie Smith's son doing his impression of Bart.
Blackboard Joke: I will not aim for the head.
Couch Gag: In the mad dash for the couch, everyone except Maggie clonks their heads together and collapse unconscious. Maggie gets the couch all to herself.
The song played over the credits, Talkin' Softball, parodies Talkin' Baseball by Terry Cashman who actually sings the parody.
Carl: Yeah I got my magic bat off a piano.
This is a reference to a true baseball story. On July 15, 1973, Nolan Ryan was in the middle of pitching his second no-hitter of the season for the California Angels, as they were going up against the Detroit Tigers. In the ninth inning with two men on base Tigers slugger Norm Cash, who had struck out his first two times up, decided he was finished trying to hit any of Ryan's pitches, and went to the plate with what he called "an equalizer." A piano leg. Cash brought the leg up to the plate, only to be told it was an illegal object to use at the plate. Cash contested saying "There's no use, I can't hit anything he throws," and demanded he be allowed to try with the leg. Umpire Ron Luciano said that he could have a practice swing against Ryan, and that if he could hit the ball he would allow the foreign object to be used. Ryan pitched; Cash swung, and missed the ball. He was promptly ordered to go get a regulation bat. When Cash returned, he popped a hit into left field which was quickly caught, and the Angels beat the Tigers, 6-0.
The Pride of the Yankees
The montage of going from city to city is a parody of the same scenes in The Pride of the Yankees (1942). This includes Homer pointing to the outfield a la Babe Ruth.
Homer carves his own bat, just like Roy Hobbs in the book, and later 1984 film The Natural. Homer calls his bat, "Wonderbat", while Roy names his "Wonderboy". The other reference to the film is the team being hypnotized by a shrink before the game.
Casey at the Bat
The episode title of this episode is a parody of Ernest L. Thayer's poem "Casey at the Bat," in which the star of Mudville's baseball team blows a last-minute at-bat.
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