The vanguards of baseball may be able to keep Pete Rose out of the Hall, but not Homer Simpson. America’s favorite dad and his entire family will be honored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum on May 27th, 25 years after the iconic Simpsons episode “Homer at the Bat” aired, where Homer heroically won the softball championship for the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant by being hit by a pitch in the 11th inning.
Any kid that grew up in the 90s watched The Simpsons, unless your parents were no TV weirdos. Re-runs were always on after school, and in an era before the internet, The Simpsons permeated deeply into American culture.
Back then, information wasn’t always accessible. You had to go to the library to look stuff up, and God forbid, maybe even ask a librarian to help you find a book. Ain’t no Googling the Dewey Decimal System.
You had to call people’s house phones to talk to them. Their parents might answer, and then you’d have to ask all polite, “Hi, is Erik there?” like your 11-year-old homie is gonna be out of town on business or something.
But everyone watched the Simpsons. Its biting satire resonated with kids and adults alike. Everyone had someone they could relate to in the show, be it Bart, Lisa, Homer, Marge, or even Flanders. We might even have a Milhouse in the building. The point is that The Simpsons was – real talk – a foundational element of growing up in the US in the 90s.
MLB, as it desperately clings to relevancy, realizes the nostalgic value The Simpsons has to the coveted millennial demographic. Given that the median age of a person who watches baseball is 53 (compared to 47 for the NFL and 37 for the NBA), the league will seize any opportunity to curry favor with young people.
Inducting The Simpsons is a solid PR move. It’s a step in the right direction for the Hall of Fame, an organization whose constituents failed to unanimously induct Ken Griffey Jr. – a real life hero and one of the game’s greatest ambassadors – into the Hall because some of them probably wish slavery was still a thing. That’s a hot take, but I’m not wrong.
Baseball may be America’s pastime, but unless they start thinking about the future, everyone who watches it will soon be dead.