The Simpsons episode "Homer at the Bat" first aired February 20, 1992. It's one of the best episodes of probably my all-time favorite TV show. In the off-chance you don't have it near-memorized, it's well worth the couple bucks to watch. I had originally planned to do this over a week, but couldn't cram it all in. So over the next fortnight (a fancy word for "2 weeks" which I learned from-- you guessed it-- The Simpsons), we'll be celebrating the show by spotlighting the big leaguers who guested in "Homer at the Bat" and other episodes.
First up is Wade Boggs.
|I'll be photoshoppin' up some fun fake cards like this for all these guys.
Wade Boggs established himself as one of the greatest pure hitters ever. He and Tony Gwynn were the premiere contact hitters of the era, each raking up a ton of hits. By the end of the '91 season, Boggs had 5 batting titles (to Gwynn's 4). Beloved by the Red Sox faithful, he was a perennial All-Star and MVP candidate.
Homer at the Bat
His appearance in "Homer at the Bat" is pretty memorable, as he gets in a bar fight with Barney Gumble.
At Moe's Tavern...
Barney: And I say England's greatest Prime Minister was Lord Palmerston!
Wade Boggs: Pitt the Elder!!
Barney: Lord Palmerston!!!
Wade Boggs: Pitt the Elder!!!! [pokes Barney]
Barney: Okay, you asked for it, bud! [punches him out]
There was also a deleted scene earlier where Boggs and Barney have a burping contest. He also gets picked by Ralph for a pick-up baseball game as he's walking by, much to Bart's chagrin.
after The Simpsons appearance
Boggs went on to have several more excellent seasons, though he never won another batting crown (Gwynn tacked on 4 more, FYI). He shocked Boston fans when he signed with the hated-rival Yankees after the '92 season. I suppose the move worked out for him, as he got his first and only World Series ring with the New York team of 1996. He wrapped up his HOF career with a couple decent years in Tampa Bay.
Highlights from my Collection:
Someday, I'd like to add his iconic '83 Topps rookie card to my collection, but for now, his Donruss RC will have to do. Hey, Boggs himself has noted it as his favorite RC.. I'm pretty sure I remember reading that somewhere. I also recently got his autograph via the beautiful 2004 Topps Retired refractor there. And his '91 Topps is a classic.. happy to find that in a repack recently. Man, I love in-game action shots as much as the next guy, but I wish Topps would mix in a few cool posed shots in their modern sets.
Midway though drafting up these Simpsons Fortnight posts, I got the "collecting goal" idea to try to get a certified auto card of every member of the Springfield Nine. Some signatures I already had, such as Boggs here, but a few I still needed. Was I able to accomplish this goal? You'll just have to keep reading to find out! (As I type this, I'm not there yet, but then again, I'm drafting this a couple weeks before I'll post it.. so we'll see!)
I mentioned above that Boggs and Gwynn are often spoken of in the same breath. As a lifelong Padres fan, it's a bummer to me that Gwynn didn't get included in the episode, though with such a strong pool of star outfielders to choose from, I understand. Let's enter the world of make-believe and take a look at what Tony might've looked like had he appeared on The Simpsons..
Um.. sorry. Not the best depiction, and they had long ditched those uniforms by that point, but you get the idea.
Ok, that's it for Day One. See you tomorrow for the next Simpsons spotlight! Up next, Ozzie Canseco's brother.