The Oral History of the “Baseball Dreams Come True” ‘Saturday Night Live’ Sketch

If you know Robert Carlock, it’s probably because of his work on several NBC sitcoms, starting with Friends To 30 Rock To mr majoror because he was a co-author Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt with frequent collaborator Tina Fey. If you know Adam McKay, it’s probably because he co-wrote and directed several successful comedies starring Will Ferrell (with whom he also co-founded Funny or Die) and later received Oscar nominations for script and directing. big short, ViceAnd Don’t look up. Even if you know that each of them first worked for several years as a writer in Saturday night lifewhere they participated in over 100 episodes each, you probably remember them for their behind-the-scenes role in creating recurring episodes: McKay, who became head writer in 1996, co-wrote the first Celebrity Danger! sketch (which aired in December of that year), while Carlock is the writer of NPR’s most memorable episode of Delicious Dish, December 1998, “sweddy balls“.

But between these two classics and before the shows and movies that made them famous, they teamed up to write a sketch in which 15 Major League Baseball players came out of Chris Kattan’s closet. That’s a lot of players for about a five minute sketch. “That’s too much,” Carlock says now. May be. But the sight of player after player walking into a kid’s bedroom on Christmas Eve, inadvertently dissuading a young fan from wanting to be a baseball player and drunkenly molesting his mother made me think. stuck With many viewers who saw him in 1997 or in subsequent decades. McKay has said what is his favorite SNL the sketches were the strangest, and “Baseball Dreams Come True” match the account. Like one redditor wrote earlier this year: “Honestly, the parody was a lot weirder than I remember.[ed]”.

Episode 9 of SNLSeason 23 aired 25 years ago on Tuesday, December 13, 1997. This was the last show before the holidays. Helen Hunt had a cameo in the middle of Jack Nicholson’s monologue with her co-star As good as it getswhich comes out that Christmas. Hanson performed “MMMBop” and “Merry Christmas Baby”. Sketch arrangement included editions of NPR’s Delicious Dish, The Roxbury Boys, and The Women’s Man, as well as Norm MacDonald. repetition his Celebrity Danger! the role of Burt Reynolds and securing his last Weekend Update. But the most enduring was a sketch featuring Hunt, Kattan and Will Ferrell, as well as major league players whose careers have ranged from obscurity to Scott Rolen, the 1997 NL Rookie of the Year and a distinguished Hall of Famer who may well be elected BBWAA voters who will submit their ballots this month.

baseball fan and SNL alum Mike Schur, who will join the writers next season, says that when he watched the sketch live, “I couldn’t figure out how the hell Mark Grudzelanek got into SNL“. Watching the sketch now is stressful Remember some guys (assuming you Always knew who, say, Russ Davis and David Howard were). Because did what Carlock describes as 15 “players of varying renown” from 10 different teams who come together to piss off a kid played by a 27-year-old man? This is the story of Baseball Dreams Come True as told by Carlock, eight players and the agent who hooked them all up.

Baseball Dreams Come True line-up

Player Team Position Age 1997 bvoyna Career
Player Team Position Age 1997 bvoyna Career
Scott Rolen Phyllis 3B 22 4.5 70.1
Rondell White Exhibitions CF 25 4.8 28.2
Mark Grudzielanek Exhibitions SS 27 1.5 26.5
Cliff Floyd marlins LF 25 0.7 25.9
Mike Sweeney members of the royal family WITH 24 1.0 24.8
Jeff Fassero Mariners joint venture 34 4.5 23.7
Gregg Jeffries Phyllis LF thirty 1.1 19.4
Todd Rowe Dodgers 3B 32 2.0 19.3
Todd Hundley Metz WITH 28 3.7 10.9
Marty Cordova Twins LF 28 -0.1 7.7
Gerald Williams Withstands CF 31 1.1 6.5
Mark Wahlers Withstands RP 27 0.7 3.9
David Howard Cardinals HELPFUL INFORMATION thirty 0.1 2.6
Pedro Bourbon Jr. Withstands RP thirty 0.0 0.7
Russ Davis Mariners 3B 28 1.8 -0.3

Part 1: “This guy called, he has about 20 baseball players”

Players who appeared on SNL ranged from a 22-year-old rookie to a 34-year-old veteran and played in a variety of positions for a variety of teams, but they had one thing in common: they were all represented EKES Inc.The baseball agency was founded in the mid-1980s by brothers Sam and Seth Levinson. ACES held an annual charity event, and in December 1997 the brothers brought as many of their clients as they could for a weekend in New York, where a fundraiser for the Starlight Foundation was to take place at the New York Hilton Hotel. Most of the players on the ACES roster went on a trip and they really wanted to be entertained – and soon they were.

Sam Levinson: Most of these guys were married, brought their wives, and hosted New York Christmas in addition to fundraising, whether it was asking for restaurant reservations or trying to get Broadway tickets. Probably the most popular request was the guys asking if they could get tickets to the screening. SNL.

Todd Rowe (Los Angeles Dodgers): I had a friend for several years who was a really close friend with [former SNL cast member] Kevin Nealon. And so I sometimes went to the show when I was in New York. When I went to the show to see Kevin, we contacted one of the talent agents who were part of the show. And then I think I introduced Sam and Seth, and it became a good rapport for them to get tickets for the guys to the show on the rare occasions we were in town on a Saturday.

Mark Wahlers (Atlanta Braves): Sam just knew everyone, everywhere, and could do anything.

Levinson: How [my brother and I] talked about it, I said, “Why don’t we propose this show idea: instead of being the audience, maybe we can attract them on show.” I called SNL and proposed the idea that all these Major League Baseball players would come to the event, all from different clubs throughout the game, could it actually be possible to create a skit and put them on the show?

Robert Carlock: I remember meeting [Levinson] at some point. I wish I had asked him – but I didn’t want it to go wrong – if he thought it was real lead to nothing.

Levinson: It is obvious that over the years there have been athletes on their shows, but there has never been this many athletes at the same time. They knew it would be very difficult to put it all together. The person whose interest was most piqued was a woman named Ayala Cohen, who [worked in] talent department SNL. She seemed really intrigued by the idea that we could provide them with a group of major league players, but obviously she had to introduce it to Lorne Michaels. Lorne Michaels liked the idea. [Cohen] said, “Let me talk to my writers to see if we can create something,” and they knew it had to happen quickly because we said that week they were coming to New York.

Carlock: Every time in…


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