I was born in 1982 to Rose and Kenneth. They split up in 1986. I grew up in Bellevue, Washington in a single mom family with my sister and spent most of the days and nights entertaining myself. This
often exclusively included watching TGIF, SNICK, and other nights of the week that aired television, I guess, but mostly those two. (It's funny how Friday and Saturday used to be the nights to watch TV and now Shark Tank is the only thing worth a damn.)
Around 1993 or 1994, I started to watch the Seattle Mariners. It was a good time to start to watch the M's and I was lucky enough to not be born at a time when I would have had to watch them in the eighties, though I have had to watch them for the last ten years. Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson, Jay Buhner, Edgar Martinez, and Joey Cora became family, among others. Dave Niehaus was like a stepfather. Even Alex Rodriguez was the son-of-a-bitch brother that you hate but love.
My parents marriage may not have worked out, but how about a marriage between two of my other favorite things: Baseball and childhood television! I had so much fun doing this that I stopped at four so that I could save some for another time. Here are 2013 baseball teams as TV families from the 90s:
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
The Banks (plus Smith) were an affluent family taking in a rowdy teen cousin that had gotten kicked out of his parents house because he got beat up once. Literally, he got in one little fight. Maybe the fight was much worse than Smith tells it to us now, maybe he wound up in a hospital on Guerrero street for a week and then his mom got scared, but seriously what kind of a mother is this? Who came up with this backstory? It's probably a cover for "my mom has a drug problem" but I don't remember that much from the episode where his mom comes to visit.
There were 148 episodes of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and his mother Vy was in 14 of them, including a two-part episode! Come on, Vy, that's your baby!
The team that is the Fresh Prince Family: The Los Angeles Angels
The Angels (plus Hamilton) are an affluent team of Los Angeles that spends money on baseball as if their grandfather's will has a clause saying "you must spend all of your money but not win a World Series to get my full inheritance!" Now they've taken in a rowdy veteran that has been kicked out off of teams for doing things a lot worse than getting in one little fight.
With Howie Kendrick as his cousin Carlton, Vernon Wells as Jazz, and Mike Trout as the sexy Hilary, this has almost zero chance of not producing entertainment. Also if you told me that Albert Pujols was Uncle Phil, I could see the argument for that. They're just hoping you didn't notice that Zack Greinke is now being played by Jason Vargas.
Probably the true treasure of the 90's television family, the Tanners was the story of a single major tragedy that was instantly (and I mean instantly) turned into eight seasons of absolutely hilarity and we will never mention what happened just before the pilot again. (I still think that mother Tanner probably visited the show more often than Vy Smith visited Bel-Air.)
Danny, Jesse, Joey, DJ, Stephanie, Michelle, Becky and Kimmy. These aren't just the exact names of my future children, it's the family that most of us grew up with and the show that shaped us for better or for worse.
As you know, Uncle Jesse and creepy Joey moved in with their friend Danny after his wife and the mother of their three children was killed by a drunk driver. It was a nice gesture, but both Jesse and Joey were likely homeless just before they moved into the Tanner house anyway. Does anyone ever think about what these two guys were doing before the mom died? Do any of you people reading this think that you could move into somebody else's house tomorrow for good and likely live their for eight years or more? Remember when Joey lived under the stairs?
The team that is the Full House Family: The Houston Astros
Yes, it's the trainwreck you can't turn away from, the best unintentional humor in sports over the last five years. Can they put the tragedy of 2012 behind them and forget it instantly though, never to be spoken of again?
Playing the part of Uncle Jesse is the kind-of-cool-but-definitely-needs-a-home Erik Bedard. He's heard that the Astros need a helping hand and he's going to try and help raise DJ (Bud Norris), Stephanie (Jordan Lyles), and Michelle (Jose Altuve). Helping him is Joey, played by Carlos Pena. You can tell that he's trying to make
jokes hits but man is that a lot of swings and misses.
Step by Step
It's a modern day Brady Bunch! Kind of sort of there's a weird guy literally living in a chi-mo van in the backyard. The premise of Step by Step is "What happens when you've got Patrick Duffy and Suzanne Somers signed on board to do a television show okay let's give them some kids and the kids have different personalities!" Then the board room goes bonkers on how amazing of an idea that is.
The Lambert-Foster family consisted of J.T. (the Tool), Dana (the Angry One), Karen (the "Offensive teen female stereotype), Al (the "Al that's not a boy but is a tomboy get it her name is Al" except look at her now) and if you can name the two other boys I'll give you a dollar. Just kidding, I won't give you a dollar. What if 10 people read this? I don't have $10. Well it's Mark Foster who is girly like his mommy and Brendan Lambert who is dumb like his dad.
These two sides will never get along, the Lambert's are boyish and the Foster's are girly!
And then there was Cody, the guy in the backyard...
The team that is the Step by Step Family: The Toronto Blue Jays
Just like the Lambert's and Foster's had to come together as a group that was already there and the one group invading, so too must the Blue Jays of 2013 find a way to fly together. Welcome the Foster family to Toronto:
Jose Reyes as Mark Foster. Josh Johnson as Karen Foster. Mark Buerhle as Dana Foster. And of course, the mother of the family, R.A. Dickey as a sex symbol that's even sexier approaching 40. Can they co-exist with the Lambert's?
Brandon Morrow as Brendan Lambert. Edwin Encarnacion as Al Lambert. Colby Rasmus is a class J.T. And of course Jose Bautista is the patriarch of the family. Can these two completely different families work together to build a successful fam-chise?
Oh, and what the hell is Melky Cabrera doing living in a van in the backyard?
Larry and Balki were estranged cousins, a mismatched pair living together in America. Can the care-free but weird Balki help relax that stressed-out Larry? Can Larry teach Balki about American customs? Watch the show and find out!
The team that is the Perfect Strangers family: The Atlanta Braves
Justin and B.J. are estranged (in baseball) brothers that now must live together in the Atlanta outfield. Can the care-free but weird B.J. help relax the stressed-out-by-high-expectations Justin and help him become the All-Star he's meant to be? Can Justin teach B.J. how to hit above .250? Watch the season and find out!