Ranking the MLB careers of 'The Simpsons' power plant softball team
On Wednesday, Ken Griffey Jr. became the third member of the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team from "The Simpsons" episode "Homer at the Bat" to be inducted in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Griffey was just 22 years old when the episode aired in 1992, and would go on to produce one of the finest careers in major league history, earning him a record 99.3 percent of votes from the Baseball Writers' Association of America.
Here's how the careers of all nine major leaguers featured in the episode rank:
9 - Mike Scioscia - C
|Prior to 1992||1324||65||.711||26.6|
Lauded for his strong defensive work behind the plate, Scioscia was a two-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion during his playing days. That same hardworking persona would unfortunately land him in Springfield General Hospital during the episode with a case of radiation poisoning after he took his job at the power plant too seriously.
8 - Steve Sax - 2B
|Prior to 1992||1562||407||.703||25.7|
Despite his run-in with the law during the episode, the only thing Sax stole during his career was 444 bases. The speedster was a five-time All-Star, two-time World Series champion, and the 1982 NL Rookie of the Year.
7 - Don Mattingly - 1B
|Prior to 1992||1269||178||.851||34.6|
Numerous requests by manager Mr. Burns to shave his sideburns proved fruitless for Mattingly, who was eventually kicked off the softball team for his perceived defiance of his manager. Mattingly was a nine-time Gold Glove winner, six-time All-Star, and former AL MVP before ironically becoming a manager himself following retirement.
6 - Darryl Strawberry - OF
|Prior to 1992||1248||280||.875||40.1|
Whether it was the jeers from Lisa in the stands or being pinch-hit for with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth after hitting nine home runs, Strawberry's career went south following the episode. He appeared in just 335 games over the next eight seasons, and was suspended three times for substance abuse.
5 - Jose Canseco - OF
|Prior to 1992||853||209||.866||25.2|
Canseco missed the power plant's championship game as he heroically helped a woman rescue her possessions from a fire. The slugger would throw himself into a real-life fire in 2005, admitting to using anabolic steroids in a tell-all book.
4 - Ozzie Smith - SS
|Prior to 1992||2076||499||.661||65.4|
Nicknamed "The Wizard" for his exceptional defensive skills, Smith was a 15-time All-Star and 13-time Gold Glove winner. It's not known where he landed when he fell into the Springfield mystery spot, but he did turn up in 2002 to become enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
3 - Wade Boggs - 3B
|Prior to 1992||1482||400||.906||69.5|
One of the best contact hitters in baseball, Boggs was on the receiving end of a hit when he was knocked unconscious by Barney Gumble during an argument over who was England's greatest Prime Minister. After laying unconscious on the barroom tile he managed to shake the cobwebs off and produce a Hall of Fame career that included 12 All-Star appearances.
2 - Roger Clemens - SP
|Prior to 1992||1784.1||2.85||1.12||54.2|
Clemens failed to start the championship game for Springfield due to suddenly behaving like a chicken thanks to a hypnotism session gone wrong, but on the major-league mound, he was arguably one of the best to ever pitch. The right-hander won seven Cy Young awards and ranks third all-time in strikeouts. Clemens has yet to be voted into the Hall of Fame due to his alleged use of performance-enhancing drugs.
1 - Ken Griffey Jr. - OF
|Prior to 1992||436||60||.847||15.5|
Griffey was just three years into an eventual Hall of Fame career when he hit the softball field. Though an overdose of brain and nerve tonic resulted in an extreme case of gigantism, "The Kid" never let his major-league success go to his head. The 14-time All-Star goes down as one of the greatest hitters in MLB history.
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