In “Homer at the Bat,” the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant softball team is in trouble. While most of the employees are reluctant to sign up after the disastrous previous season, their minds change when Homer reveals his “Wonder Bat,” which he made himself. The team goes on a winning streak, with only the Shelbyville Nuclear Power Plant’s softball team standing in the way of the championship. Mr. Burns, eager to win a bet against the rival plant’s owner, drafts professional baseball players to the roster, much to the chagrin of his employees. One of them is Yankees first baseman Don Mattingly, who Mr. Burns ultimately fires for not shaving his sideburns, despite removing the hair from most of his head.
“Homer at the Bat” is filled with standout moments from the impressive cast of Major League Baseball players who appear as themselves, including Roger Clemens, Wade Boggs, Ken Griffey Jr., Steve Sax, Ozzie Smith, José Canseco, Darryl Strawberry, and Mike Scioscia. Further, Mattingly actually was benched for keeping his hair long, according to ABC News. Interestingly enough, while the episode aired in February 1992, it was actually written before the incident, which took place in July 1991; the hirsute ballplayer confirmed that “everyone thought [the ‘Simpsons’ team] wrote it in later, but they didn’t.”