Thursday, July 26, 2007
We're Talkin' Homer, Ozzie and The Straw...
The Simpsons Movie comes out today, and I, for one, am thoroughly excited. I have long believed that every aspect of life can be explained by, poked fun at, and rationalized by The Simpsons. The show has been an integral part of my upbringing, and has done as much as anything else to mold my sense of humor. Obviously, I'm not alone in this boat - it's been nice to see the celebration of the show in mainstream and alternative media as the hype machine hit full throttle for the movie.
Since I graduate from college in December, am working at a place I've always wanted to work at this summer, Craig Biggio is retiring, and this movie is coming out - this really feels like the absolute end of youth for me. It's now time to get my grown man on everyday, and not just when convenient. Fuck.
Anyway, a source at my current employer did this bit of baseball-and-Simpsons related research, and I felt compelled to share it with you fine people. I present to you, a collision of two of my favorite things on this here planet, baseball and Los Simpsons:
* Only two players enshrined in the 4 major sports' Halls of Fame carry the last name "Simpson": Bills great O.J. Simpson and Hockey Hall of Famer "Bullet" Joe Simpson.
* There have been 8 Simpsons in MLB history…. The Simpson who hit the most "Homers" was Harry Simpson, who had 73 career HR.
* There has only been 1 Simpson in NBA history -- Ralph Simpson (not to be confused with Ralph Sampson), who played 10 seasons, mostly with the Nuggets.
In MLB History there have been....
20 players named Burns
16 players named Barney
15 players named Otto
11 players named Homer
7 players named Moe
6 players named Bart
4 players named Skinner
3 players named McClure
0 players named Flanders
0 players named Disco Stu
* There are 78 MLB players all-time listed as having been born in one of the 14 "Springfields" in the United States -- including reliever Allan Simpson, who is the only Simpson born in a Springfield! Some notable Springfieldians: Robin Roberts, Rabbit Maranville, Chris Capuano, Jeff Fassero, Jayson Werth.
Conversely, there are only 7 major leaguers from Shelbyville.
* Notable athletes to have appeared as themselves on the Simpsons:
Venus and Serena Williams
Oscar de la Hoya
Bret "the Hitman" Hart
... and the entire starting lineup from the classic "Homer at the Bat" episode...
Wade Boggs, Jose Canseco, Roger Clemens, Ken Griffey Jr., Don Mattingly, Steve Sax, Mike Scioscia, Ozzie Smith, and Darryl Strawberry.
My favorite line from that fantastic 1992 episode:
"MATTINGLY! I told you to shave those sideburns!" - Mr. Burns
“The Simpsons” is an inexhaustible repository of humor, invention and insight, an achievement without precedent or peer in the history of broadcast television, perhaps the purest distillation of our glories and failings as a nation ever conceived. - A.O. Scott, New York Times
Here's a great review of the movie from the NYT:
"In "Brother's Little Helper," a paranoid Bart shoots down a satellite that Major League Baseball was using to spy on everyone. Mark McGwire, however, calms the public by landing in a helicopter and asking: "Do you want to know the terrifying truth, or do you want to see me sock a few dingers?"
The crowd's response: "Dingers! Dingers!"
(By the way, wouldn't it have been awesome had McGwire delivered the same line when he testified before Congress? Had he done so, he might be going into Cooperstown this weekend.)" - Jim Caple, ESPN.com
And Jim Caple's gem about the aforementioned episode: