You thought Chris Davis’ slump was bad?
Charlie Brown made his debut into the world of comics in 1950, penned by the late Charles Schulz. “Peanuts” featured the misadventures of Charlie and his friends, so it’s not a real surprise that a slice of Americana like this strip would feature baseball.
As you know, if it wasn’t for bad luck, Charlie Brown would have no luck at all. Despite his love for baseball, he was really bad at it. But on March 30, 1993, after 40 years of swinging and missing, the impossible happened: Charlie Brown went deep, and he did it in style. Charlie launched a walk-off home run that sailed clear over the fence, giving his team a single, often-elusive victory.
A backflipping Charlie approached his sister, Sally, to tell her all about it, and even Sally was shocked at the result.
“YOU?!” she exclaims.
You can view the entire strip, starting with the March 29, 1993, Peanuts strip here.
It was clearly a cathartic experience for Charlie, who hit the home run off one of his nemeses, Royann Hobbs. If that name reads slightly familiar, it’s because Royann claims to be the great-grandaughter of the fictional Roy Hobbs from the 1954 book “The Natural.” Of course, the great Robert Redford portrayed Hobbs in the classic 1984 movie of the same name.
The arc appeared over a five-day sequence of the Peanuts’ daily strip, with Charlie’s revelation of the home run coming in the second installment of the series. It culminates with Charlie’s amazement over meeting Hobbs, who claimed Charlie “ruined her whole life.” Talk about dramatic. Charlie would later hit another home run off Hobbs, in June of the same year.
Baseball was an integral part of the Peanuts comic strip for a long time, even if Charlie’s team was the worst team fielded this side of the 2019 Baltimore Orioles. There was even a TV special focused on baseball, titled “It’s Spring Training, Charlie Brown.” The special would eventually air on Nickelodeon in the ’90s.
Charlie’s team won at least 10 times throughout the 50-year run of the comic, with most of those wins coming without him on the field. “It’s Just Bad Luck, Charlie Brown,” maybe. Or maybe he just has a terrible WAR.
The team was utterly devoid of talent, in any case. Snoopy, the (literal) slumbering shortstop, has the range of a fish bowl. Lucy’s UZR in right field is horrendous. Schroeder has a noodle arm behind the plate. Really, it’s something of a miracle that this group of misfits has a single win, let alone several.
The exit velocity and launch angle of Charlie’s homer are still unknown.
Let this be a lesson: Sometimes it might take a day, a month, a year or 40, but if you keep working at it, stay prepared and focused, you’ll always have the opportunity to knock something out of the park.
Now, if only Lucy would have held the darn football …
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