Bizarre Baseball Culture: The Batman and Cal Ripken Jr. join forces to promote Big League Chew

In Bizarre Baseball Culture, I take a look at some of the more unusual places where baseball has reared it’s head in pop culture and fiction.

When I was growing up, there was only one true cartoon Batman, and that was the Batman voiced by Kevin Conroy in a series of cartoons that started in the early nineties, ended in 2006, and then briefly revived for the occasional video game or DVD movie. The shows that featured Conroy- usually headed by a writer named Paul Dini and an artist named Bruce Timm- were and are masterpieces, regarded by many as the definitive Batman and not just great kids shows, but great shows period.

However, there was the slight problem that having a deep and rather mature Batman in the cartoons meant there wasn’t as much stuff for the very little kiddies, so in 2004, while the Conroy-Batman was in a Justice League cartoon, a new show was created, entitled simply The Batman. While it did have it’s moments (or so I hear, I think I only watched maybe four episodes of it in total), it was not dark, it was not deep, it was not mature and it just in general was an abomination, especially when compared to the Batman cartoons I’d grown up watching. It was created basically just to sell toys to little kids in the run-up to the release of Batman Begins (which, as we all know, was totally kid friendly, right?).

Still, there was one thing that The Batman gave us: a comic book in which Batman joins forces with Cal Ripken Jr. in order to stop the Penguin and hawk Big League Chew. Just as Bob Kane and Bill Finger intended.

(Go below the jump for more)

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