Welcome to the Baseball Hall of Fame, Homer Simpson.
Yes, you read that correctly. Homer Jay Simpson, the cartoon character from “The Simpsons,” has become an inducted member of baseball’s most hallowed halls, plaque and all.
Okay, not really. The induction ceremony, which took place Saturday morning in Cooperstown, N.Y., was part of an event to kick off a Simpsons-themed exhibit that will open inside the shrine celebrating the 25th anniversary of the “Simpsons” episode, “Homer at the Bat,” which featured major leaguers Ken Griffey Jr., Wade Boggs, Steve Sax, Jose Canseco, Ozzie Smith, Roger Clemens, Don Mattingly and Darryl Strawberry, whom Homer notably replaces in the episode’s final scene.
“I get asked as much about being on ‘The Simpsons’ as I do about baseball,” Sax said this week (via the Associated Press). “They don’t want to know how it was to hit against Nolan Ryan. They want to know about being on that show.”
Here’s a clip:
As the plaque notes, the doughnut-loving patriarch of the Simpson family made several contributions to baseball since the show’s inception in 1989, not only as a player, but also as a whistleblowing mascot for the Isotopes.
“Baseball is recognized as our national pastime due to its wide intersection with American culture over the last two centuries, evident in literature, theater, language, art, music, film and television,” Hall President Jeff Idelson said in a statement. “ ‘The Simpsons’ is a perfect example of that connection to Americana.”
Here is the full inscription:
Homer Jay Simpson
“Home Run Homer” “Dancing Homer” “Hungry, Hungry Homer” Springfield Isotopes, 1990; Capital City, 1990; Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, 1992.
Inept safety inspector turned citywide softball hero. Right fielder led Springfield nuclear plant to city championship game, then sacrificed his body to win it all. Nearly supplanted by lineup of all-world superstar ringers, came through in a pinch — and came to in time for the next episode. Girthy right-handed hitter powered many a mighty wallop during celebrated 1992 season with “Wonderbat” — his secret weapon. Lack of mobility in the field was no match for moves atop the dugout. Found fame as Bush League mascot phenom, parlaying his “elephant walk” into a taste of the majors. Unacquainted with scientific concepts, only isotopes of which he was aware played at Duff Stadium, where uncanny knowledge of Southwestern palate exposed team’s impending move to Albuquerque.
Homer was enshrined in the Hall as a player for the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team. Of course, three of the players from the famed episode were on hand Saturday.
Note: “Homer Simpson was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame before Pete Rose, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Tim Raines” is a real-life sentence (sort of). Let that sink in.