Sitcoms Featuring Appearances By Famous Baseball Players

Men who have a bunch of homers have a plaque in the Baseball Hall of Fame, which also houses some excellent pitchers who occasionally yielded a homer. Now the Hall has a guy named Homer, even if he is just a cartoon.This year marked the 25th anniversary of the first airing of “Homer At the Bat,” the wildly popular episode of The Simpsons that features appearances by a half dozen Major League All-Stars. The officials at the shrine in Cooperstown have opened a Simpsons-themed exhibit, an idea that might lead to similar recognition for several other classic television shows.No other series can come close to having as many cameos as did “Homer At the Bat,” which was comprised of Steve Sax, Roger Clemens, Jose Canseco, Darryl Strawberry, Ken Griffey, Jr., Ozzie Smith, Don Mattingly, and Wade Boggs. There are several other sitcoms who have shot episodes with Big League players, even Boggs himself in another cameo.The Hall of Fame third baseman also appeared in Cheers, who enters the bar to sign autographs. Unfortunately, no one believes he is really Wade Boggs, fearing that it is a prank.That same series about the place where everybody knows your name was honored with an appearance by another well-known member of the Boston Red Sox, Luis Tiant. The All-Star pitcher shares a commercial with main character Sam Malone, a former right hander who now is the bar tender.Seinfeld is another Hall of Fame worthy sitcom that aired episodes featuring nearly as many stars as the one being honored from The Simpsons. Perennial All-Star and 1979 National League Most Valuable Player, Keith Hernandez, appears in several episodes of the sitcom about nothing. He befriended Jerry, dated Elaine, and helped solve a mystery that had plagued Kramer and Newman for decades.Since Seinfeld’s best friend George was an employee of the Yankees, it made sense that several of them would appear in cameos during the show’s run. Outfielder Danny Tartabull was driven around by George, nearly causing him to wreck when the Big Leaguer cut his candy bar into slices with a knife.Tartabull’s teammate, right fielder Paul O’ Neill, was asked to hit two home runs in a game as a favor of a sick child in the hospital. He ended up accomplishing just that, only to have the boy express disappointment because one of them was of the inside the park variety.Two Hall of Fame members showed up in “Dances With Weezie,” an episode if the long-running sitcom Married With Children. Cincinnati Reds catcher Johnny Bench and Chicago Cubs shortstop Ernie Banks are both in a sports bar visited by Al Bundy and Jefferson Darcy while their wives are attending a reunion of The Jeffersons.Almost fifty years ago two stars of the Los Angeles Dodgers appeared in separate episodes of The Brady Bunch, the classic sitcom about a widower with three sons who weds a woman with three daughters. Oldest sibling Greg has a hopeless crush on his teacher, until Gold Glove first baseman Wes Parker shows up after class to take her out.Greg is also affected by Dodger pitcher Don Drysdale, who tells the boy that he has an arm that might one day get him to the Big Leagues. From that point on, an inflated ego makes Greg difficult to deal with for the rest of the Brady household.These sitcoms spanning five decades have helped promote the game of baseball, just like The Simpsons did in that 1992 episode. Perhaps baseball should consider expanding the exhibit to include all TV sitcoms, not just the one about Homer and his family.