The Universe Series of the Inter-Galactic Baseball League

Wesley Crusher (a.k.a. Wil Wheaton) would be the perfect second baseman...or would he? (via Genevieve)

Wesley Crusher (a.k.a. Wil Wheaton) would be the perfect second baseman…or would he? (via Genevieve)

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, there was an epic Game Seven in the Universe Series between the Tatooine Podracers and the Starfleet Alphas. This Game Seven rivaled the best in the history of the sport, including the 1960 Pirates-Yankees series that ended with a walk-off Bill Mazeroski home run, the 2001 Luis Gonzalez bloop-single that beat Mariano Rivera, and the 1991 Jack Morris vs. John Smoltz battle that ended 1-0 after 10 innings.

To reach the Universe series, the Tatooine Podracers had defeated the Battlestar Galacticas in six games and the Starfleet Alfas had knocked off the Yautja Predators. In the Universe Series, the Tatooine Podracers and Starfleet Alphas swapped wins for the first six games. The championship game came down to a gripping Game Seven that would feature each team’s top pitcher in an exciting battle for the Emperor’s Trophy. Both teams had become successful by embracing advanced statistical analysis and eschewing the “old school” methods that many of the other teams in the Inter-Galactic Baseball League still used. The Podracers were managed by C3PO, who would match wits with Data, manager of the Alphas.

Here were the starting lineups:

Starfleet Alphas Lineup

Manager: Data

CF Geordi La Forge
3B Montgomery Scott
SS James T. Kirk
RF William Riker
1B Worf
SP Jean-Luc Picard
LF Seven of Nine
C Hikaru Sulu
2B Wesley Crusher

CL Spock

Tatooine Podracers Lineup

Manager: C3PO

2B R2D2
SS Luke Skywalker
RF Han Solo
1B Chewbacca
CF Boba Fett
3B Obi-Wan Kenobi
C Darth Vader
SP Lando Calrissian
LF Leia Organa

CL Yoda

The team scouting reports were provided before the game by the announcing team of Joel Robinson, Tom Servo, and Crow T. Robot, of Mystery Science Theater 3000 fame.

Starfleet Alphas

  • CF—Geordi La Forge—La Forge had an uncanny ability to track a fly ball to the far reaches of the outfield, almost as if he had a sixth sense and could just “feel” where the ball would end up, rather than using his eyes. Because of this ability, he was one of the best defensive center fielders in the league. He also had a surprisingly good batting eye and made a good leadoff hitter.
  • 3B—Montgomery “Scotty” Scott—“Scotty” wasn’t the most coordinated player on the team. He was kind of the scrappy type of player who looked unconventional at the plate, running the bases, and in the field, but somehow found a way to make it work.
  • SS—James Tiberius Kirk—The team captain, Kirk was a shortstop with good hands but limited range. Before making it to the IGBL, Kirk had played for a number of teams in his home state of Iowa, including the Dyersville Dennycranes.
  • RF— William “Number One” Riker—Riker was a cocky, swashbuckling player who was known to be quite popular with the ladies. In fact, the original left fielder for the Alphas was Deanna Troi, but an on-again, off-again relationship with Riker caused problems in the clubhouse and Troi was traded away midseason. When the team brought up Seven of Nine from the minor leagues, they put her in left field and told center fielder Geordi La Forge to keep right fielder Riker away from her. Pitcher Jean-Luc Picard often referred to him as “Number One.”
  • 1B—Worf—Known for his constant scowl, Worf was the no-nonsense enforcer on the team and also the team’s best power hitter (who scared the heck out of rookie second baseman Wesley Crusher).
  • SP— Jean-Luc Picard—A veteran hurler with years of experience, Picard could mix and match pitches with the best of them. Some thought he may have been doctoring the baseball, similar to Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry, but he was never caught with a foreign substance while on the mound.
  • LF—Seven of Nine—Called up from the minor leagues to replace Deanna Troi, who had been traded away midseason, Seven of Nine was the most athletic player on the team but didn’t seem to have much passion for the game. She was very even-keeled, not getting too excited when things went well and not too upset when things went wrong. It was almost as if she had difficulties expressing human emotions.
  • C— Hikaru Sulu—Small for a catcher, Sulu was quick and agile behind the plate. He had great speed for a catcher on the base paths and was a creative signal-caller behind the dish.
  • 2B—Wesley Crusher—After being unable to establish himself in two previous attempts with the Alphas, Crusher was finally starting for the Alphas in his third season, but still had rookie eligibility. He struggled at times with immaturity. Early on in this season, he was not well liked by the team’s ace, Jean-Luc Picard, who had no use for rookies.
  • Closer—Spock—Spock had a supernatural calm about him even in the most high-leverage of situations. Whether closing out the game by striking out the side or giving up a walk-off homer, his demeanor never changed. He was best known for a devastating Vulcan grip split-fingered fastball.
  • Manager—Data—Data was an artificial intelligence and synthetic life form with a positronic brain that gave him incredible computational capabilities. Without the hindrances of human emotions, Data was able to make moves from the dugout that gave his team the best probability of victory. The only drawback with Data was his willingness to let Picard overrule his suggestions.

Tatooine Podracers

  • 2B—R2D2—The Podracers leadoff hitter, R2D2 was a compact and scrappy little second baseman in the mold of Phil Garner of the 1979 World Series Champion Pittsburgh Pirates. Garner, appropriately enough, was known as “Scrap Iron.” To the Sand People in the right field bleachers, R2D2 was, literally, scrap iron. He was known for routinely taking shots to the body, leading the league in hits by pitch every year of his career. He was very good buddies with manager C3PO.
  • SS—Luke Skywalker—Skywalker was a young, slick-fielding shortstop who started out as a right-handed hitter but learned to switch-hit after injuring his right hand in a fight with this father. Luke was discovered on Tatooine by the veteran Kenobi and immediately rushed to the big leagues without spending any time in the minors. It would prove to be a mistake, as young Luke was overmatched in his first exposure to major league talent. He was sent down to the minors to play in Dagobah under the tutelage of a seasoned old player-manager that everyone simply called Yoda. With Yoda’s help, young Luke sharpened his skills on offense and defense.
  • RF—Han Solo—Han Solo was a bit of a renegade on the baseball diamond. At the plate, he showed disdain for any manager who gave him the bunt sign. He would often ignore it and swing away. On the bases, he gave himself a green light and would steal whenever he felt like it. In right field, he would, at times, make wild, diving attempts to make a play when it would have been prudent to be a little more conservative, and he often overthrew the cutoff man on throws to the bases. Still, he was so talented that you had to put up with his flaws.
  • 1B—Chewbacca—Chewbacca was Solo’s best friend on the team and his regular drinking buddy. He won the Wookie of the Year award in his first season and had matured into a veteran slugger with power to all fields who also struck out often. He was known for occasional bouts of frustration and his angry roar could be heard throughout the stands. During the season, he finished second in the league in ejections behind teammate Solo and tore the arms off of six umpires. Manager C3PO strategically placed Chewbacca between Solo and Fett in the batting order after thatpair had a few scuffles during the season.
  • CF—Boba Fett—Fett was probably the best athlete on the team. He had an amazing ability to levitate when going after fly balls in center field and led the league in robbing opposing hitters of home runs. At the plate, he was one of the top hitters in the league, lining laser-sharp hits to all fields. Longtime baseball fans said he was the spitting image of his father, Jango, who had starred in the IGBL many years before.
  • C—Darth Vader—In the mold of Johnny Bench, Vader was a great-fielding catcher with a big bat. In fact, Vader had such strong hands that he eschewed the traditional catcher’s mitt in favor of simple black gloves. He was also one of the first catchers in league history to wear a mask behind the plate. He also had the uncanny ability to influence the umpire’s ball-strike calls in his favor.
  • 3B—Obi-Wan Kenobi—In his prime, Kenobi had been an All-Star shortstop and one of the league’s top players but when Skywalker came up from the minors, Kenobi saw the potential in the youngster and moved over to third base so Skywalker could play short. He had a calming, veteran presence on the team.
  • SP— Lando Calrissian—Hutt had spotted Calrissian pitching for the Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings and signed him to a big free agent contract before the season. Calrissian was a bit of a mercenary. He routinely went where the money was. On the mound, he was a very good pitcher, if sometimes a bit cocky.
  • LF—Leia Organa—Leia was a young player getting her first start of the year in the season’s most important game. She had been the primary backup outfielder on the team during the year but was pressed into action because of the bizarre disappearance of the team’s regular left fielder, Biggs Darklighter.
  • Closer—Yoda—Luke’s old manager came out of retirement for the good of the team. When the games were tight and the Podracers needed a shut-down guy out of the bullpen at the end of a close ballgame, Yoda was the guy. He was the Mariano Rivera of his time, with an amazing amount of movement on his pitches. It was almost as if he would throw the ball, then wave it left, right, up, or down with his mind.
  • Manager—C3PO—A humanoid robot, C3PO had excellent computational abilities and his knowledge of over six million forms of communication made him a good manager of a team with players speaking different languages. His biggest weakness was a tendency to worry and fret too much, which greatly annoyed right fielder Han Solo.

With the lineups set and the fans done filing in to Palpatine Park in Theed on the planet Naboo, it was time for the Universe Anthem by Diva Plavalaguna. The Diva was on point with her singing, delivering one of the most haunting renditions of the Universe Anthem ever heard. It’s sad to remember that she ultimately died some years later during a performance on Fholston, but at least she was able to give the stones to Korben, before her death, which helped Korben and Leeloo save the planet Earth from the great evil just seconds before it would be destroyed.

After the Diva was escorted off the field it was time for the delivery of the first pitch by U.S. astronaut Howard Wolowitz. While practicing for the event, Wolowitz discovered that his throwing ability rivaled that of Mariah Carey and 50 Cent, so he designed a robot to “deliver” the ball to home plate. At first it seemed like a good idea, but the robot took a ridiculously long time to roll towards home plate and the fans started to get unruly. Up in the stands, Mork, Alf and Beldar Conehead were downing beers and eager for the game to start. As the robot continued its glacial pace, Beldar stood up and yelled, “Unacceptable!” Finally, an impatient Chewbacca walked out to the field, grabbed the robot, and flung it into the bullpen where it unfortunately landed on one of the red shirt-wearing Starfleet players, name unknown, killing him instantly.

In the confusion, a very tan man wearing a Hawaiian shirt, Bermuda shorts, flip-flops, and holding a margarita in his hand heads out to the mound and asks for a ball. It’s Bill “Spaceman” Lee. The organist plays some Jimmy Buffet and Lee delivers a more traditional first pitch to the plate.

A Hardball Times Update
Goodbye for now.

Finally, the game starts. In the early going, Lando Calrissian and Jean-Luc Picard are dominating on the mound. Neither team could even muster a base runner through the first three innings. In the top of the fourth, Calrissian gets cocky. With two outs and James T. Kirk up, Lando attempts to pull a stunt he had been known for while pitching for his previous team, the Bingo Long Travelling All-Stars & Motor Kings. He turned to his fielders and instructed them to come in so he could pitch against Kirk with no fielders. Upon seeing this, the fans started cheering but catcher Darth Vader would have none of it. He stormed out to the mound and picked up Lando by his neck saying, “Don’t make me destroy you.” Lando got the idea and the fielders returned to their positions.

Perhaps rattled by the visit from Vader, Lando gives up a two-out double to Kirk. Cleanup hitter William Riker then steps up to the plate looking to give the Alphas an early lead. He lines a clean single into left-center, driving in Kirk. As Riker nears first base, Picard yelled from the dugout, “Take two, number one!” and Riker heads for second but is gunned down on a great play by Boba Fett. Still, the Alphas take a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the fourth inning.

The Podracers finally get a base runner of their own in the bottom of the fourth when R2D2 leads off with a walk. Then it was time for a figurative chess match between Podracers’ manager C3PO and Alphas’ skipper Data. To bunt or not to bunt? Let Skywalker swing away? Hit-and-run or run-and-hit? Each manager had the mathematical abilities to determine the move that would yield the best probability of success but each also knew that the other knew that he knew. It quickly became a Princess Bride battle of wits, only without the Iocaine powder. Eventually, Skywalker singled to left to put runners on first-and-second. Han Solo then stepped to the plate and ripped a sizzling ground ball to third base. It bounced off Scotty’s leg and ricocheted over to Kirk, who flipped it to Crusher, who threw to Worf for the double play.

After the play, Kirk says to Scotty, “Well, that was . . . unconventional . . . but . . . it worked.”

Scotty responded, “I’m giving it all I’ve got, Captain!”

With two outs and a runner on third, Chewbacca strikes out to end the inning and releases an angry roar. Up in the stands, Alf lets out a loud, “Ha!” and Beldar once again yells, “Unacceptable!”

Both pitchers continue to dominate over the next two innings, with neither team putting together any sort of rally. Finally, Starfleet gets something going in the top of the seventh when Kirk leads off with a single for his second hit of the game. Riker and Worf then struck out, with Kirk stealing second on the strikeout pitch to Worf. Jean-Luc Picard works a walk off Calrissian and Seven of Nine steps to the plate. On a 2-2 pitch, she lifts an easy fly ball to right and Solo camps under it but in his nonchalance he drops the ball and Kirk comes around to score with Picard and Seven of Nine ending up on second and third.

Angry at himself and getting booed unmercifully by the Sand People in the right field stands, Solo charges the group and they scatter. At shortstop, Skywalker and Kenobi are taking this in and Kenobi says, “The Sand People are easily startled, but they will soon be back, and in greater numbers.” It was true. Within a couple of innings, the right field stands were overflowing with Sand People. They had multiplied like Tribbles.

With two outs and runners on second and third, and Sulu stepping to the plate, C3PO comes out of the Podracers’ dugout to talk to Calrissian and Vader. Weak-hitting rookie Wesley Crusher is on deck. C3PO says to Calrissian, “Sir, although the run expectancy matrix suggests that intentionally walking Mr. Sulu in this situation would increase the expected runs scored from .570 to .736, the batter on deck, Wesley Crusher, is a much inferior batter so I would suggest the appropriate move in this situation would be to walk Mr. Sulu and pitch to Mr. Crusher.” Lando looks at C3PO, then at Vader, and says, “Here goes nothing” and they walk Sulu to load the bases.

Leading 2-0 with two outs and the bases loaded, Starfleet has a chance to break this game wide open but it will be up to rookie Crusher to come through in the clutch. The count runs to two balls and one strike when Crusher crushes the ball deep to left field. Leia makes a great read on the ball, runs back to the fence, and makes a leaping catch at the wall to end the threat. Up in the stands, sitting next to U.S. astronaut Howard Wolowitz, Sheldon Cooper stands up and yells, “I so loathe you, Wesley Crusher!”

For the seventh inning stretch, Jabba the Hutt has hired Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes, commonly known as the Cantina Band. Once they complete the traditional Take Me Out to the Ballgame, they launch into a song that everyone in the stadium recognizes: “Look at what’s happening to me, I can’t believe it myself, suddenly I’m up on top of the world, it should’ve been somebody else.” With that, the crowd joins in, “Believe it or not, I’m walking on air, I never thought I could feel so free–. . .” and flying in from center field is a guy in a red superhero suit and a 1980s white guy afro with all the grace of Bartolo Colon swinging at a slider low and away. The red-suited guy crashes down on home plate while flailing his limbs about and the crowd roars in laughter. Slapping Mork and Alf on the back with joy, Beldar yells, “Acceptable!”

Through six innings, Starfleet pitcher Jean-Luc Picard had allowed only a hit and a walk. Because of a double play, he had faced just one over the minimum number of hitters. Still, he only had three strikeouts so Data knew that his Batting Average on Balls In Play for the game was an unsustainable .059. Data also knew Picard was about to face the heart of the Podracers’ lineup for the third time, so he had Spock and his Vulcan Split-Fingered fastball getting loose in the pen.

Luke Skywalker leads off the home half of the seventh with his second hit of the game, a ringing single past a diving Kirk at short. After rounding the bag and returning to first, Skywalker lets out a yell and claps his hands, cheering on Solo, who responds, “Great, kid. Don’t get cocky.”

On the mound, Picard isn’t fazed. He strikes out Solo on three beautiful curveballs. Up in the owner’s box, Jabba the Hutt says, “Han, ma bookie, keel-ee calleya ku kah (Han, my boy, you disappoint me).” Picard then strikes out a very angry Chewbacca, who slams his bat in disgust.

With two down, Boba Fett steps to the dish and absolutely destroys Picard’s first offering, depositing the ball far over the center field wall for a game-tying big fly. Up in the owner’s box, Jabba the Hutt shoves a handful of paddy frog nachos in his mouth and chuckles happily, “Huh, huh, huh-huh-huh.”

The next batter is the ever-dangerous Darth Vader. With the score tied, Data is calculating the best possible move and decides it’s time to bring in Spock. Data heads out to the mound to remove Picard but Picard would have none of it, passionately refusing to be removed from the game. Data doesn’t understand Picard’s behavior. The best possible move is to bring in Spock; why would Picard refuse to come out of the game? With Picard standing firm, Data returns to the dugout. In the bullpen, Spock turns to backup catcher Leonard H. McCoy, whom everyone just calls “Bones” and says, “Humans make illogical decisions.” Bones mutters under his breath, “Logic? My God, the man’s talking about logic…”

Darth Vader steps up to the plate and they play Jay Buhner’s walk-up music as the crowd cheers. The count goes to 2-and-2. On the ensuing pitch, Vader launches one deep to left but Seven of Nine tracks it down at the warning track and the game remains tied going into the eighth inning.

With the top of the order due up in the eighth and about to face Calrissian for the fourth time, C3PO goes to his closer, Yoda, to keep the game in check. Yoda dazzles the crowd with a Luis Tiant-esque display of pitching, delivering the ball from every possible angle as he strikes out the side on nine pitches.

While Starfleet batted in the eighth, Data continued to contemplate a pitching change. Sitting next to Geordi La Forge, he says, “The safest and most logical decision in this situation is to remove Captain Picard and bring in Mr. Spock. However, based on past experience, I project only a 17 percent chance Captain Picard will choose that alternative.” Sure enough, Picard heads out to the mound in the bottom of the eighth despite Data’s recommendation.

Leading off the bottom of the eighth, Obi-Won Kenobi attempts to bunt for a base hit down the third base line but a surprisingly agile Scotty rushes in, fields the ball bare-handed, and fires to first to nip Kenobi by a hair. Kenobi jogs past Yoda on his way to the dugout and mutters, “Well, I tried.”

Yoda responds, “Do. Or do not. There is no try.” Kenobi glares at him.

Yoda steps into the batter’s box and lashes a ball over the first base bag and into the right field corner. Riker fields it and fires to Crusher, who relays it to Scotty, but Yoda’s wheels get him a stand-up triple. Data heads out to the pitcher’s mound to, once again, attempt to remove Picard from the game. “Captain, by my calculations, Starfleet’s win expectancy would increase if you were removed for Mr. Spock.”

This time Picard agrees, saying, “Make it so.” He walks off the mound to a round of applause as Spock trots in from the bullpen. Data instructs the Starfleet infielders to play in to cut off the run at the plate while Leia looks down at third base coach Wicket the Ewok, who is gesturing wildly.

Spock comes to the set position, then fires to home as Yoda takes off from third. The pitch comes in fast and hard but Leia is able to get the squeeze bunt down to score Yoda and give the Podracers a 3-2 lead. R2D2 follows with a ground out to short to end the inning.

As the game goes into the ninth inning with the Podracers leading 3-2, Jabba is very happy up in the owner’s booth at the possibility of winning the Universe Series. He turns to the Kowakian monkey-lizard, Salacious B. Crumb, and says, “Ches kop o kuta x’esta klenko ya ooska.” (I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time).

Of course, there are still three outs to get. Yoda finishes his warm-up tosses and Riker steps in the box. On a 1-1 count, Riker lines a single to left. Worf follows with a sharp single of his own, as Yoda’s magic seems to be fading. He is nine hundred years old, after all. Down by one with runners on first-and-second and nobody out, the mind game begins again. Data considers the run expectancy of a sacrifice bunt while C3PO considers the benefits of having the first and third basemen charge the plate to get the force at third. Yoda comes to the set position, then fires to the plate as Kenobi and Chewbacca charge in to field a possible bunt. The batter, Spock, squares to bunt but pulls the bat back as bench coach Admiral Ackbar yells from the Tatooine dugout to the Podracers’ fielders, “It’s a trap!” Spock swings away and hits a sharp ground ball into left field to load the bases.

Seven of Nine saunters up to the batter’s box, looking to keep the rally going. Unfortunately for her, Yoda spins a succession of sliders, each just a bit more off the plate, and Seven of Nine strikes out swinging for out number one. Hikaru Sulu steps up and Yoda sticks with his slider to get two quick strikes but then makes the mistake of trying to get Sulu to chase a high fastball. Instead of swinging through it, Sulu connects and sends a fly ball to Solo in right field. Riker tags up as Solo makes the catch and comes firing home. The ball sails over the cut-off man’s head as Riker scores easily, with both runners moving up a base on the over-throw. It was a reckless play by Solo and C3PO let him know, calling from the dugout, “Sir, the possibility of successfully throwing out the runner on that play is approximately . . . “

Before he could finish, Solo angrily cuts him off with, “Never tell me the odds!”

The score is tied with two outs and runners on second-and-third. Rookie Wesley Crusher is due up, but Data looks down the bench and selects a pinch-hitter—Hugh the Borg. The crowd goes quiet in anticipation of the matchup between Yoda and Hugh, but C3PO wants none of it and instructs Yoda to intentionally walk Hugh to load the bases.

This brings leadoff man Geordi La Forge to the plate with a chance to put Starfleet ahead. On a 2-2 count, La Forge hits a sharp ground ball up the middle. Shortstop Skywalker makes a diving stop as R2D2 covers second, but Skywalker ignores the force at second and throws to first . . . not in time! La Forge beats it out and Starfleet takes a 4-3 lead! Dejected, Skywalker picks himself up and heads back to his position at short. Kenobi comes over and pats him on the back and says, “Next time don’t throw the ball to first. Use the force, Luke.” Montgomery “Scotty” Scott then pops out to end the inning, but Starfleet has a 4-3 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth.

With Spock on the mound and a one-run lead, Starfleet is just three outs away from being Universe Series champions. Luke Skywalker leads it off with a sharp grounder just to the right of second. New second baseman Hugh the Borg smoothly glides to his right and makes a backhanded grab, turns and fires to first for out number one. Up next is Han Solo, who’s having a rough game. He’s struck out twice, grounded into a double play, dropped a fly ball that led to a run, and sailed a throw over the cut-off man’s head that allowed two runners to move up.

The count runs to three-and-two and Spock unleashes a nasty Vulcan grip split-fingered fastball that Solo swings at and misses, but Sulu can’t handle the pitch and it gets by him, allowing Solo to reach first on the dropped third strike. Chewbacca lets out a hearty chuckle and Solo yells, “Laugh it up, fuzzball!” Chewbacca then grounds a ball to second that Hugh the Borg fields and throws to Kirk for the force at second as Solo comes bearing down on him like Don Baylor, blowing him up to prevent the double play on the slow-footed Chewbacca. The Podracers are down to their final out. C3PO looks down the bench and puts young Padme Amidala in to run for Chewbacca, who runs like the ground insulted his mother and he’s trying to punish it.

Boba Fett takes his place in the batter’s box, waving his bat menacingly, the number A0050 on the back of his jersey. Spock looks in, cool as Hoth. The first pitch is a ball, just off the outside corner. The next pitch comes in tight for ball two. Spock does not seem perturbed and fires in a nasty split-fingered fastball for strike one. On the next pitch, Amidala takes off for second. Fett swings through another nasty split for strike two as Sulu receives the pitch and fires down to Hugh the Borg . . . but it’s too late, Amidala is safe at second with the tying run.

Starfleet manager Data calls time out to talk to Spock as the catcher Sulu comes out to the mound from behind the plate. Data goes over the win expectancy calculations based on pitching to Fett or walking him to pitch to Vader and Spock nods. Sulu then leans in and whispers something to both of them. The ump breaks them up and Data heads back to the dugout.

With the count two-and-two and the tying run on second with two out, Sulu stands up indicating an intentional walk. Spock throws the ball high and outside for ball three while Fett considers pulling a “Kelly Leak” and taking a hack at the pitch. He holds back so the count is full. Again Sulu stands up to indicate an intentional walk but as Spock delivers the pitch Sulu squats back down behind the plate. Unlike Johnny Bench in the 1972 World Series, Fett is ready for it and takes a mighty swing and connects, sending the ball deep to center field. Catcher Sulu yells, “Ohhhhhhh Myyyyyyyyy!” as center fielder La Forge races back to the wall, leaps . . . and comes up empty! Fett’s second homer of the game is the game-winning blast and the Tatooine Podracers win the Universe Series of the Inter-Galactic Baseball League!

Bobby Mueller has been a Pittsburgh Pirates fan going back to the 1979 World Series championship team. He has previously written for The Hardball Times and FanGraphs, and writes at Baseball on the Brain. Follow him on Twitter @bballonthebrain.
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87 Cards
8 years ago

This article takes me back to the early seventies when I was a boy. I used to regularly attend minor-league games at BBC Park to see the Time Lords when Doctor Who was coming up through the minors. The Doctor was a legend; always ahead of the play by at least two seconds and a durable left-hander;–an innings-eater whose arm seemed to grow anew and fresh between stars.

A big draw in the Empire League was Cloud City Padawans. I found this old batting practice video of Vader hitting a galactice shot: . Of course, that was batting practice…he chad his jittery moments and choked in the clutch….

Bobby Mueller
8 years ago
Reply to  87 Cards

Great clips! After the Vader home run, I was really hoping for a Jose Bautista-like bat flip.

Shane Tourtellotte
8 years ago

This concept may not be quite as farfetched as you were hoping. Star Trek actually had an episode centered around a baseball game, the Deep Space Nine installment “Take Me Out to he Holosuite.” The highlight of the game was Worf getting ejected by umpire Odo for arguing a strike-three call.

Yes, that’s right. Even in the 24th century, they don’t have robot umpires yet. But count your blessings: if we’d had one for the Universe Series, it probably would have been Marvin.

Mike T
8 years ago

If humans ever learn to use ‘the force’ and it says here one day we will, baseball and sports will be over

at least in their current forms

Yehoshua Friedman
8 years ago

I wanted to stay up to watch it but with a thousand light-year delay I would be long dead. Missed all the fun!