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Western Animation / Batty Baseball

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Batty Baseball is a 1944 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer animated short directed by Tex Avery, which lives up to its name as it consists of a variety of baseball-related gags between the Yankee Doodlers and the Draft Dodgers.


  • Artistic License – Sports: All over the place, but it doesn't matter anyway due to Rule of Funny.
  • Baseball Episode
  • Downer Ending: Played for Laughs. The batter accidentally kills the catcher with a hard swing from his bat, and the latter is seen ascending to Heaven on a cloud.
  • Gory Discretion Shot:
    • One of the audience members yells "Kill the umpire! Get him out of there!". As he keeps yelling, a gunshot is heard, much to his horror, and he and the rest of the audience then stand up to take a moment of silence before returning to their seats.
    • At the end of the cartoon, the camera quickly zooms up to the batter before he accidentally strikes the catcher. We hear a loud bang and glass shattering, but while we don't see what the catcher looks like after getting hit, the batter's horrified and remorseful expression as he looks down speaks for itself.
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  • I Resemble That Remark!: The same audience member from earlier who heckled the umpire this time yells out "The umpire is blind!". The umpire then turns around, revealing that he is indeed blind, and says "Oh, I am not!".
  • Lame Pun Reaction: The name of the baseball field is W.C. Field. Some text appears at the bottom of the screen, stating this:
    The guy who thought of this corny gag ~ isn't with us any more.
  • Logo Joke: The cartoon begins immediately at the title and then skips straight to the action with no sight of the MGM logo or credits. This eventually gets fixed when one of the players stops to wonder where they have been. As the narrator apologizes, the logo and credits, minus the title card due to redundancy, finally appear.
  • Minor Injury Overreaction: After getting hit by a baseball from McDrip, the batter puts down his bat and hat and takes a few steps to the left before passing out on top of a stretcher and being carried off to the hospital.
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  • Motor Mouth: When the cartoon starts, the narrator is talking at a ridiculously fast pace while describing the equally-speedy action going on in the game. He eventually stops when one of the players realizes that the cartoon forgot to display the MGM logo and credits.
  • Public Domain Soundtrack: "Dance of the Comedians", which would later be known as the Leitmotif of the Road Runner cartoons, is heard during the beginning as the narrator hastily describes the action.
  • Running Gag: The catcher running out in front of the batter, narrowly missing getting hit. On the last instance, the batter doesn't miss.
  • Standard Snippet: "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" is played as the MGM logo and credits are displayed.
  • Talking with Signs: At the end of the cartoon, during his ascension to Heaven, the pitcher displays a sign that reads "Sad ending, isn't it?".
  • Take Me Out at the Ball Game: A fan shouts for the umpire to be killed, and gets his request granted offscreen. Also, the catcher who keeps getting in front of the batter finally gets hit and killed at the end.
  • This Is a Work of Fiction: Before we go back to the cartoon after the opening credits, we get this:
    Any similarity between the title of this picture and the story that follows is purely an accident.
  • The Tooth Hurts: A woman on a toothpaste poster gets hit by a baseball and loses some of her teeth as a result.
  • Tricked-Out Shoes: One gag has the pitcher sprout a crosshair from his shoe as he focuses on the batter.
  • Visual Pun:
    • McDrip's famous spitball. He spits onto this baseball and tosses it towards a spittoon, upon which the baseball then spits into said spittoon and returns to its owner.
    • Likewise, his beautiful curve. McDrip tosses his baseball, which leaves behind a line trail as it goes and even draws the outline of a woman, causing some male audience members to exchange a Wolf Whistle.
    • A player on the bench is getting warmed up. By having sexy women run up and kiss him.
  • Vocal Dissonance: The batter reacts to getting an out from three strikes by throwing a tantrum and letting out a baby's crying.
  • Wartime Cartoon: The announcer does mention the war as the reason most of the opposing team are missing, as they've all been drafted (as indicated by signs reading "1-A"). All except McDrip the pitcher, whose uniform number is 4-F, the Selective Services' classification for "unfit for service." Also, a gigantic batter has the number B-19, a reference to the Douglas XB-19 bomber.
  • Winged Soul Flies Off at Death: The last we see of the unfortunate catcher who got a fatal concussion from the batter's bat is him as a spirit floating above to the afterlife.