On Saturday, Homer did something The Simpsons executive producer Al Jean never thought would happen: he entered the Baseball Hall of Fame in a special “induction” ceremony.
“It’s one of a long list of things with The Simpsons I never dreamed would happen,” Jean said during a roundtable discussion to mark the milestone of the episode, which included voice cameos by then-MLB players Wade Boggs, Jose Canseco, Roger Clemens, Ken Griffey Jr., Don Mattingly, Darryl Strawberry, Mike Scioscia, Steve Sax, and Ozzie Smith. “At the time I was even shocked that we were able to get nine current major leaguers, including three that are now in the Hall of Fame, and maybe more to come. Everything with THE SIMPSONS has just been so beyond my wildest dreams, and this is a great example of it.”
This distinction, complete with a custom plaque, commemorated the 25th anniversary of “Homer at the Bat.” Televised on Feb. 20, 1992, the 17th episode of season 3 saw Homer winning the championship softball game.
Also on hand were Hall of Famers Boggs and Smith, Simpsons executive producer Mike Reiss, director Jim Reardon, executive story editor Jeff Martin, casting director Bonnie Pietila, and a Homer mascot.
In a prepared “statement,” Homer said, “My record for eating hot dogs will never be broken. I’ve been a fan for 40 years, which is how long some games take. And I can’t wait for the ceremony in Canton, Ohio.”
“It’s definitely one you hear about a lot,” Jean said of the episode. “There’s nostalgia because a lot of people were kids when it first aired. Looking at it again, as I did recently, it’s a real glimpse of ’90s era baseball. Baseball has changed since then – it’s a different kind of game.”