Bart the Lover
Homer at the Bat
Separate Vocations


  • Mr. Burns states that, although there is an outside chance of seven misfortunes, nine misfortunes befalling his players is virtually impossible. Indeed, this proves accurate as nothing happens to either Darryl Strawberry or Don Mattingly. The latter only fails to play because of Burns' misunderstanding of what sideburns are.
  • Homer broke the rules of being out in a lightning storm, such as shielding himself with a piece of sheet metal, and taking cover under a tree.
  • The players in this episode were an extremely talented group. They combined for 77 All Star selections, 34 Gold Gloves, 7 Cy Youngs, and 4 league MVP awards. They also won a combined 12 World Series. Smith, Boggs and Griffey, Jr are presently the only members of the Baseball Hall of Fame from this group. Following Ken Griffey, Jr's 2010 retirement, none of the episode's baseballers remain active players. As of January 2016, Mike Scioscia manages the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Don Mattingly manages the Miami Marlins. At the time, only Steve Sax and Don Mattingly had played for the New York Yankees. Four of the other ringers would later play for the Yankees (Boggs, Clemens, Canseco, and Strawberry).
  • Mr. Burns's original choices were Mordecai "3 Finger" Brown - P, Gabby Street - C, Cap Anson - 1B, Napoleon Lajoie - 2B, Pie Traynor - 3B, Honus Wagner - SS, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson - LF, Harry Hooper - CF, and Jim Creighton - RF. Smithers remarks that Burns' right-fielder has been dead for 130 years, which is true. Jim Creighton was America's first baseball superstar, and died suddenly at the age of 21 in 1862: seven years before the beginning of professional baseball.
  • Ryne Sandberg and Carlton Fisk rejected guest spots in the episode. Both of them have also been elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.[1]
  • Don Mattingly being forced by Burns to cut his sideburns was, coincidentally, recorded a year before Mattingly was forced in real life to cut his long hair.[2]At the time of the episode, Mattingly played for the New York Yankees, a professional baseball team whose owners are heavily strict about hairstyles, especially facial hair.
  • Jose Canseco was said to be the most difficult of the players featured to work with. His reason for missing the game was originally intended to be different, but Canseco balked and wanted more of a "heroic" reason, hence the fire scene.
  • The chalkboard gag implies that Bart knocked a student unconscious with a ball. In the end Homer got knocked unconscious by a ball.
  • According to the DVD commentary, Harry Shearer hated doing this show, and he was heavily featured as Burns and Smithers were main characters in it. Other problems were that a lot of the show's crew weren't baseball fans, and that the professional baseball players were difficult to schedule for recording. Most of them recorded their lines during road trips to play the Dodgers or Angels. One particularly rough challenge was syncing up the dialogue in the hypnotism scene where the whole team speaks in unison. All the lines were recorded at different times over several months and had to sound like they all spoke at the same time. Ken Griffey Jr. also had difficulty with the line, "Wow, it's like there's a party in my mouth and everyone's invited." 
  • Reasons why the professional baseball players (save Daryl Strawberry) were forced to miss the championship game:
    • Roger Clemens is made to act like a chicken by the team's hypnotist.
    • Wade Boggs gets punched out by Barney at Moe's Tavern during a heated argument over who is the greatest Prime Minister of England. Barney argues for Lord Palmerston, and Boggs supports Pitt the Elder.
    • Ken Griffey, Jr. overdoses on nerve tonic and develops gigantism.
    • Steve Sax is arrested because the Springfield Police believe he is responsible for all of New York's unsolved crimes.
    • Ozzie Smith goes to "Springfield's Mystery Spot" and suddenly vanishes.
    • Jose Canseco is too busy rescuing a woman, her baby, and her valuables from a fire. {see above}
    • Don Mattingly is cut because of his sideburns (which only Mr. Burns believes exist). {see above}
    • Mike Scioscia gets radiation poisoning from working at the plant.


  • Lisa's explanation to Marge, that Homer getting hit by pitch counted as a hit, is incorrect. In baseball, when a batter gets hit by pitch, although he may advance to first base, he does not get credit for a hit.
  • While Burns was speaking to the players as their manager, Jose is taller than Darryl.
  • Just before Homer gets used to pinch hit for Darryl, Lenny and Carl can be seen on first and second base, but when Homer gets called up, they are in the dugout, and are not seen advancing the bases after Homer gets hit by the pitch.
  • While Homer is confused by Mr. Burns' signs, no runner can be seen occupying third base, though one would be there since the bases are loaded.
  • When Steve Sax says "What a nice little town," his mouth doesn't move.


  • The episode's title is a play on the Ernest Lawrence Thayer poem "Casey at the Bat".
  • During the montage of away games, Homer points to center field, which was made famous by an urban legend that Babe Ruth hit a line drive down center field for a hospitalized boy. This was also spoofed in the film The Sandlot which debuted two years after this episode where a kid attempts to duplicate it but strikes out. Homer did hit a home run, albeit by way of left field.

Movie Moment

  • The tale of Homer's homemade bat a takeoff of the plot of The Natural. As in the film, the homemade bat splinters after the protagonist faces a tough pitcher. However, in the film, the bat boy offers Roy Hobbs a homemade bat he had been working on, and the iconic hit is made with that.


  1. Tim Kaiser. "Hairy problem dogs mattingly Don gets a 'toon-up' on 'Simpsons' tonight", The Evansville Courier,, p. C2. Retrieved on 2008-02-19. 
  2. "Truth Mirrors 'Simpsons' Fiction", Chicago Tribune,, p. 3. Retrieved on 2008-07-07. 

Season 2 Season 3 References/Trivia Season 4
Stark Raving DadMr. Lisa Goes to WashingtonWhen Flanders FailedBart the MurdererHomer DefinedLike Father, Like ClownTreehouse of Horror IILisa's PonySaturdays of ThunderFlaming Moe'sBurns Verkaufen der KraftwerkI Married MargeRadio BartLisa the GreekHomer AloneBart the LoverHomer at the BatSeparate VocationsDog of DeathColonel HomerBlack WidowerThe Otto ShowBart's Friend Falls in LoveBrother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?