Thanks to Disney+, we can now re-live the greatest baseball game ever played.
When you think of the all-time greatest baseball game, Game 7 of the 2016 World Series might pop into your head, or perhaps Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS or maybe even Game 6 of the 1993 World Series (Joe Carter). Those are all great choices to be sure, but they pale in comparison to a game played on February 20th, 1992 in the small town of Springfield, USA. This was the game where against all odds and tremendous adversity, a local hero cemented his place in baseball lore.
That man? Homer J. Simpson.
Hopefully, you’re doing well enough in life to be able to finagle a Disney+ account from your roommate’s old college buddy. And when you do get the magical login, you can sleep with a smile knowing you can wake up early and watch 30 seasons of The Simpsons. Of the 669 Simpsons episodes aired since it’s debut in 1989 (I know, holy Duffman that’s a lot of episodes), there have been many great ones, but perhaps none more iconic than S3 E17, “Homer at the Bat.”
Let me run down a list of reasons why this episode features the greatest baseball game ever played and is possibly the greatest Simpsons episode ever made:
The ringers in their primes might have been the best team ever.
Jose Canseco, Wade Boggs, Ozzie Smith, Roger Clemens, Darryl Strawberry, Don Mattingly, Mike Scioscia, Ken Griffey Jr., Steve Sax. That’s a hell of a starting nine. Together they compiled a career WAR of 570.1. For reference, those 1927 Yankees you hear so much about – their combined career WAR adds up to 437. Can you say, dynasty?
Roger Clemens couldn’t play because he thought he was a chicken.
All the players have bizarre reasons why they couldn’t make the game, but Clemens’ reason is the best. There is just something undeniably funny about a grown man who genuinely thinks he is a chicken. Also, take a moment and think of real-life Roger Clemens and how funny it would be if he couldn’t play in a World Series game because a hypnotist made him believe he was a chicken. That’s basically what comedy is: grown men thinking they are chickens.
Darryl Strawberry hit a record breaking nine home runs in the game.
Like Cal Ripken’s 2,632 consecutive games played, Strawberry’s record of nine home runs in a game will surely never be broken (not to mention the final score was 44-43).
Mr. Burns took Strawberry out in favor of Homer for the righty-lefty matchup…in softball.
The Simpsons have been so successful for 30 years because of its ability to cleverly make fun of anyone and everything. I love making fun of managers over-managing and apparently so do Matt Groening and company. Strawberry was an eight time major league all-star and Homer was an overweight, alcoholic nuclear plant liability. But guys, you have to play the matchups!
It can’t be the best game ever without a walk-off.
As much as I would have stayed with Strawberry in the bottom of the 9th with two outs, bases loaded and a tie ball game, it’s hard to argue with results. Without looking, Homer gets hit in the head, knocking him unconscious before he hits the ground Mason Rudolph style, and the winning run jogs home on the HBP.
A record, a walk-off and a chicken…“Homer at the Bat” features the greatest baseball game ever played.