25 years after 'Homer at the Bat,' Homer Simpson is now a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame
On Feb. 20, 1992, The Simpsons aired "Homer at the Bat," the heartwarming tale of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team's improbable run to a championship -- with a little help from Ken Griffey Jr., Don Mattingly, Wade Boggs, Roger Clemens and more big league ringers.
Almost immediately, the episode became a cultural icon. It was the first time any show had ever beaten "The Cosby Show" in its Thursday night time slot, and it's even helped save a life or two. And on Saturday morning, just over 25 years after it first aired, "Homer at the Bat" and Homer himself got the recognition they deserve: enshrinement in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
The big day began with an airing of the famed "Homer at the Bat" episode in its entirety, as the occasion definitely called for such an opportunity.
The induction ceremonies began on the steps outside the Hall, where a suspiciously gigantic Homer Simpson got his very own plaque:
Longtime Simpsons showrunner and writer Al Jean introduced Homer's prerecorded acceptance speech, which began with the following:
The Mayor of Cooperstown, Jeff Katz, made an appearance as well, declaring May 27, 2017, "Homer J. Simpson Day" -- and did so wearing a sash that read, "MAYOR," a wonderful nod to Springfield Mayor Quimby.
"Inept safety inspector turned city-wide softball hero":
Some old friends stopped by to wish Homer well -- and Ozzie Smith even managed to find his way out of the Springfield Mystery Spot.
Later, Homer brought out the ceremonial first pitch baseballs for the Hall of Fame Classic game at Doubleday Field. Here he is around the mound with Hall of Fame chairman Jane Forbes Clark and president Jeff Idelson (photo via MLB.com's Dan Cichalski):
Throwing the first pitches were Jean and the other participants in the roundtable discussion, and they were tossed to Smith, Wade Boggs, Steve Sax and two local high school players.
Inside the Hall, fans will get to learn all about the episode and the show thanks to a brand-new Simpsons display -- shown here by original Simpsons writer and former showrunner Jean:
Another look (photo via MLB.com's Dan Cichalski):