Tuesday, September 30, 2008
How The Isotopes Got Their Name
"We never thought anyone would really name a team the Isotopes - we did it as a joke," [Simpsons writer Ken] Levine said of himself and writing partner David Isaacs, who penned an episode of "The Simpsons" that aired way back in its second season, 1990, called "Dancing Homer."The team's logo merchandise sales are in the top five in the minors. More at Tom Hoffarth's blog.
In it, the local minor-league baseball team known as the Springfield Isotopes was born, and Homer became the unofficial good-luck charm and mascot.
An isotope, for those who might have slept through high school science, is simply a description of an unstable atom. It made sense for the show, since Homer works at a rather unstable nuclear power plant in Springfield.
"To be honest, we really didn't give it a whole lot of thought," said Levine, a Taft High and UCLA grad moonlighting these days as the post-game "Dodger Talk" co-host. "That's the value of education, you really don't know what you're going to recall sometimes. To me, it was just a funny word, it was getting close to lunch, we were both hungry, we wrote it, we called the other team the Shelbyville Shelbyvillians, and went to eat."