When Nick Swisher and his impeccable faux hawk made an appearance on Monday's episode of How I Met Your Mother, the outfielder became just the latest New York Yankee to dip his toes in the waters of Hollywood.
In honor of Swish's riveting performance at MacLaren's pub, River & Sunset has decided to take a look back at nine other
great Yankee performances in the business of show.
Keep in mind this isn't an exhaustive list—Andy Stankiewicz may have played Victim No. 2 in a 1992 episode of Murder, She Wrote for all I know. Consider this simply a sampling of the Yankees' contribution to the entertainment business over the years.
In late 2001, Derek Jeter had just lost a heartbreaking Game Seven in the World Series, but it did little to sully his "It Boy" status.
Saturday Night Live head honcho Lorne Michaels seized on the 27-year-old's appeal by tabbing him to host the venerable late-night staple's Dec. 1 episode.
Jeter was at ease during his opening monologue, looking more comfortable than many real actors who host SNL.
The standout sketch was probably "Jeter's Taco Hole", which included this can't miss sales pitch: "I think you'll agree we're one of the top five Mexican restaurants in all of northern New Jersey."
Also memorable, though perhaps for different reasons, was the Jeter, David Cone and David Wells cross-dressing portrayal of player's wives. The routine itself wasn't particularly funny, but it did fulfill the unwritten rule of sketch comedy regarding professional athletes: When in doubt, put 'em in drag.
If you ask me, the greatest episode in the long history of The Simpsons is "Homer at the Bat", which aired on Feb. 20, 1992 and featured nine of the biggest MLB stars of the day.
One of those stars was Yankees first baseman Don Mattingly, who had recently been embroiled in a ridiculous controversy that stemmed from George Steinbrenner's demand that he get a haircut.
Seriously, this really happened.
You'd think the Simpsons writers would play off this follicle drama, and it appeared that they did, as Mr. Burns demanded that Mattingly shave his nonexistent sideburns in the episode. But incredibly, Mattingly's voice bits were recorded before Steinbrenner ever made his inane decree.
When Mattingly goes too far in his attempt to appease his coach (see above), Burns kicks him off the team, at which point Mattingly mutters, "I still like him better than Steinbrenner."
Point, Donnie Baseball.
Okay, so Clu Haywood wasn't a real Yankee (though he was played by former big leaguer Pete Vuckovich).
But the loaded Yankees team that Haywood led in Major League was ahead of its time when you remember that the real-life Yankees were in the midst of a serious title drought when the comedy was released in 1989.
I think that's one of the many things I loved about the movie when I was a kid. There was baseball, cursing, Roger Dorn's hot wife, Charlie Sheen, voodoo practitioners with poor breaking ball perception, and best of all, the Yankees were bad-ass.
In retrospect, it's also pretty cool that Haywood resembled Sal Fasano on an epic HGH bender.
First off, you HAVE to watch the trailer for Safe At Home. I implore you.
Now, I know it was 1962, and I'm aware things were much simpler back then, but how did this movie ever get green lit? Who in their right mind pulled the trigger on this?
This is what I could gather from the trailer: Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris are straight up the coolest dudes on Earth. They're coached by Ricky Ricardo's buddy from I Love Lucy.
There's a kid named Bryan Russell, "who could be any youngster, or even the boy you once were." Randomly, a ruggedly handsome man jumps off a moving boat, grabs his dame waiting at the dock, and they hoof it for Fort Lauderdale. I think they're searching for the boy, but it's never implicitly stated. Then there's some unrelated baseball stock footage.
The whole thing reeks of a high-level cash grab of epic proportions. This type of hardball greed would be seen again in 1997 with the release of Joe Torre: Curveballs Along The Way.
Back in 1996, everyone was cool with Roger Clemens.
That included Red Sox fans, who wouldn't turn on their ace until a year later, when he signed with the Blue Jays and proceeded to
inject work himself back to being a front-line starter.
We had no idea at that time what dirtbaggery resided in Clemens' soul. Kingpin gave us a hint, as Clemens portrayed "Skidmark", a truck driver looking to kick some Amish ass.
It was a legitimately funny scene in a legitimately funny movie. As Clemens would later prove by orchestrating his trade to New York, he was always good at aligning himself with the right people.
In this case, it was the Farrelly brothers.
Jim Abbott was in his first year in pinstripes when he appeared on an episode of the ABC teen sitcom Boy Meets World back in 1993. Abbott had thrown a no-hitter at the Stadium in September of that year, but his season, and Yankee career in general, was a bit of a disappointment.
That didn't change the fact that the one-handed Abbott signified something of a triumph of the human spirit, and I assume this is why he was asked to match acting chops with Ben Savage.
I can't tell you anything else about Abbott's acting debut because I've never actually seen a complete episode of Boy Meets World, and here's why: If you were born between 1978 and 1983, you have seen every episode of Saved By The Bell, including Saved By The Bell: The College Years and Good Morning Miss Bliss. If you were born between 1984 and 1989, you have seen every episode of Boy Meets World. There's a clear mark of delineation here.
So while I can tell you what Zack Morris scored on his SAT, or why pop star Johnny Dakota was the biggest hypocrite to ever set foot at Bayside, the only thing I really know about BMW is that Mr. Feeney gave off a serious Chester Molester vibe.
I like to group people into two distinct categories: Those who understand that The Naked Gun is the funniest movie of all-time, and those who suck.
Back in 1987, Reggie Jackson had no idea he was involved with a comedy of that magnitude. He probably figured the shoot would be a nice chance to mug for the cameras a bit, have a few beers and get some relationship advice from his good buddy O.J.
He was wrong on multiple levels.
Jackson doesn't appear as a Yankee in The Naked Gun, but I'd be remiss not to mention such an important Yankee in such an important movie.
I couldn't find any clips of Jackson in Gun, but I did find this amazing anti-coke PSA he did in the '80s. "There's no home run on cocaine."
There's certainly not, Reggie. Certainly not.
River & Sunset Bonus!: A lot of bad stuff happening to O.J.'s Nordberg character. Maybe the jury saw this movie, mixed up fantasy and reality and decided he'd already suffered enough?
If you're someone who loves baseball, both as a game and for what it represents, The Scout is about as offensively bad and stupid as it gets.
How offensively bad and stupid? In the climatic World Series game, troubled wunderkind Steve Nebraska pitches a perfect game, striking out 27 on 81 straight swings and misses. He also hits two homers that account for the only scoring in the contest.
I don't want to dig too much deeper because the more you peel back the layers of this baby, the more your head hurts. I mean, Brendan Fraser landed on the roof of Yankee Stadium in a helicopter minutes before first pitch of a World Series game. Ozzie Smith represented the final obstacle for Nebraska to complete the perfect game, and Bob Costas describes the then 40-year-old shortstop like he's Hack freaking Wilson.
George Steinbrenner had more than just a cameo in the film, delivering actual bits of dialogue and serving as a driver for major plot elements. Shame on The Boss. The Scout was released on Sept. 30, 1994, a time that probably seemed perfect a few months earlier but not so much after the player's strike ended the season in August.
Some movies deserve their fate.
It was a marriage made in heaven. The greatest sitcom in history and the greatest baseball franchise in history cresting at the same time.
By 1996, Seinfeld was a ratings juggernaut for NBC, the master of its domain. Jerry Seinfeld's character on the show was a Mets fan, but Jerry's best friend, eternal loser George Costanza, was a diehard Yankee fan who managed to land his dream job as assistant to the traveling secretary with the team.
For parts of the next three seasons, the Yankees would serve as a major part of the Seinfeld story arc, from George's meddling with players, to his father's fury over the Jay Buhner trade, to Kramer's clubhouse infiltration, to the bizarre rantings of owner George Steinbrenner (never seen from the front and voiced by Larry David).
It was the perfect team and the perfect show syncing up at the perfect time. Only in Hollywood.