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Friday, August 24, 2012

Granillo: Tommy Westphall’s Baseball Universe

Latest Wezen-Ball from Granillo…

We all remember the celebration in 2004 after the Red Sox won the World Series. The glorification of Curt Schilling and his bloody sock. Johnny Damon and the “Idiots”. Cowboying up. Something about Babe Ruth and curses. And then of course there was Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore celebrating on the field.

Or the 1996 Yankees. Derek Jeter introducing himself to the world (and the gift-basket business). Wade Boggs riding around Yankee Stadium on a horse. Mariano Rivera being Mariano Rivera for 107 innings (107!). I’m sure George Steinbrenner said something entertaining as well.

What if I told you they never happened?

The Tommy-verse

In 1988, the long-running television hospital drama “St. Elsewhere” ended its run with a curious twist. In the series’ final scene, it was revealed that the entire show, all 137 episodes, took place inside the mind of an autistic boy named Tommy Westphall. Any quarrels the cast may have had, deaths they suffered, joys they experienced, minutia they waded through—it was all a part of young Tommy’s mind.

Closing the Curtain

There you have it. Irrefutable proof that some of the biggest baseball moments of your life never actually happened. It’s shocking, I know, but the “Tommy Westphall Universe” is unassailable. Even more, the five moments described here come from only 13 shows in the “Tommy-verse”; there are nearly 200 other shows out there still to be explored for key baseball events (and that’s not counting the shows I threw out for reasons described above). Did the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that the Tanner family from “Full House” experience also affect the World Series like we remember it? Was Gilligan able to hear the Miracle Mets on his coconut radio? Was it Willie Mays’ warlock powers that helped him make The Catch? Did Archie Bunker ever trade barbs with Joe Morgan or Dick Allen? Was Ralph Kramden’s driving the final straw that convinced Walter O’Malley to move the Dodgers to California?

Repoz Posted: August 24, 2012 at 10:49 AM | 10 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

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   1. TerpNats Posted: August 24, 2012 at 12:17 PM (#4216745)
So Calvin Griffith never moved the Senators to Minnesota (and Bob Short never moved the Lakers out of Minneapolis)? And did Sabrina Spellman never meet Brady Anderson or Mark Langston? I'm all confused now.
   2. AndrewJ Posted: August 24, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4216779)
Something about the MASH episode involving the Bobby Thomson game bothers me -- everyone at the 4077th is shown listening to a live radio broadcast of the game, in Korea, in the middle of the day.

Thomson hit his homer around 4:00 pm Eastern Standard Time in New York, which in real time would have occured around 3 in the morning in Korea.
   3. Nasty Nate Posted: August 24, 2012 at 12:47 PM (#4216788)
Something about the MASH episode involving the Bobby Thomson game bothers me -- everyone at the 4077th is shown listening to a live radio broadcast of the game, in Korea, in the middle of the day.


Did the military re-broadcast baseball games during the day? That could be an explanation.
   4. Dale Sams Posted: August 24, 2012 at 01:28 PM (#4216851)
Did the military re-broadcast baseball games during the day? That could be an explanation.


And the umpteen Christmas episodes in a 3 year war?
   5. cardsfanboy Posted: August 24, 2012 at 01:34 PM (#4216861)
Something about the MASH episode involving the Bobby Thomson game bothers me -- everyone at the 4077th is shown listening to a live radio broadcast of the game, in Korea, in the middle of the day.

Thomson hit his homer around 4:00 pm Eastern Standard Time in New York, which in real time would have occured around 3 in the morning in Korea.


They approached this in another episode, I believe it was Frank Burns who was betting on games by listening to the original broadcast and then during the day in the rebroadcast he was making bets (those crazy doctors ended up creating a false broadcast to fool him)
   6. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: August 24, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4216870)
I attended games one and two of the 2004 World Series. Does this mean I only exist in Tommy Westphall's mind?
   7. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: August 24, 2012 at 01:48 PM (#4216876)
Wade Boggs was on both Cheers and The Simpsons, so they're in the same universe.

Edit: I forgot Homer visited Cheers, so they don't even need the Wade Boggs connection.
   8. cardsfanboy Posted: August 24, 2012 at 01:59 PM (#4216888)
I find it hard to argue, even half seriously, that events in the real universe don't exist because of they were mentioned in the fictional universes's. There is going to be some overlap of history because the kid is autistic not blind and deaf. He is going to incorporate the real world into his fictional universe. The proof of that lies in the fact that the actors play the characters therefore they exist in different universes. If you start discounting the "real" universe, then you have to discount Tommy also.
   9. RMc is a fine piece of cheese Posted: August 24, 2012 at 06:20 PM (#4217108)
A dinosaur accidentally steps on a butterfly. 10 zillion years later, we're all semi-gelatinous creatures playing korfball (except on Tuesdays, of course).
   10. Bruce Markusen Posted: August 24, 2012 at 06:55 PM (#4217148)
There was one M*A*S*H episode with Frank Burns winning bets on baseball games by cheating, and there was also another episode with Charles Winchester betting on the Dodgers winning the pennant. The latter episode had a scene with Charles listening to Thomson hit the home run and losing the season-long bet after it seemed like the bet was in the bag.

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