Sports On TV: The Simpsons’ 20 Greatest Golden Age Sports Moments

2 1990s Baseball

What Happens: If I didn’t have a “Last Exit To Springfield” moment coming up, this is where I’d declare season 3’s “Homer At The Bat” the greatest Simpsons episode ever. It’s the kind of episode that inspires wistful retrospectives from The Onion A.V. Club and Deadspin 20 years later.

In it, Homer’s success on the power plant’s softball team (thanks to WonderBat, carved from a lightning-struck tree branch) leads to Mr. Burns making a million dollar championship bet with the owner of the Shelbyville Power Plant, then replacing everybody on his team with ringers from Major League Baseball. Those ringers, voiced by the players themselves, include Hall Of Famer Ozzie Smith, Roger Clemens, Ken Griffey Jr., Jose Canseco, Don Mattingly, and pretty much everyone else who was important to baseball in 1992.

Key line: “You are all very good players.” “We are all very good players.” “You will beat Shelbyville.” “We will beat Shelbyville.” “You will give one hundred and ten percent.” “That’s impossible. No one can give more than one hundred percent. By definition that is the most anyone can give.”

How do you write a two paragraph blurb about “Homer At The Bat”? I could’ve made an entire Sports On TV column from the moments in this one episode. Actually, here, I’ll do that. Here’s Sports On TV: The 15 Greatest Sports Moments From “Homer At The Bat”.

1. Barney and Wade Boggs getting into an argument about whether Lord Palmerston or Pitt The Elder was England’s greatest Prime Minister, then fighting about it.