Friday, September 9, 2011


Back in the early 90's, there was a hard-luck baseball team in the American League called The Pioneers. They were owned by Mitzi Balzer and may have been connected to a city in Ohio.

Nearly twenty years later, it's the opinion of the governing body at Toobworld Central (ahem) that the team resurfaced. Only this time, it had been relocated to Boston and was under new ownership.

And now the Pioneers were known as the Pilgrims.

Recently (as far as the Toobworld timeline is concerned), Detective Jane Rizzoli - along with her friend, medical examiner Dr. Maura Isles - investigated the murder of a coach for the Pilgrims who was killed in the team's locker room. Eventually a team player was killed as well.

The Pilgrims were Boston's second major league team - at least in Toobworld - and had a good shot at the pennant. This doesn't seem likely if the team had originally been the hapless Pioneers, but in the real world the Yankees were able to turn around their fortunes after George Steinbrenner bought the team. The same could hold true for the Pioneers/Pilgrims.

The current owners of the team were Phil and Geena Young, and the team was at the center of contention in their divorce proceedings. I'm thinking it's pozz'ble, just pozz'ble, that they didn't so much as buy the team from Mitzi Balzer as Geena may have inherited it. She could have been Mitzi's grandaughter by a son or daughter never mentioned on the series. (As Geena Young's maiden name was never mentioned, we could go either way with the family tree.) 
Geena Young is questioned by Detectives Rizzoli and Korsak
(Korsak is wearing a Pilgrims jersey)
Since the Red Sox were already in the American League, the Pilgrims must have ended up in the National League after their purchase and move.

This is pure conjecture on the part of Toobworld Central, something to tidy up the TV Universe by creating a connection to a long-forgotten sitcom. But since it's unlikely that it will ever be proven wrong, and the rules governing Toobworld are more lax than with other TV crossover sites, we're going to rule this a hit. 
Rizzoli and Isles watch a Pilgrims baseball game


Brent McKee said...

Just for the record, the Pilgrims was one of the early unofficial nicknames for the Boston American League club that eventually became the Red Sox. In the real world Boston was a two team city until 1953 when the Boston Braves moved to Milwaukee.

PDXWiz said...

Great post! Makes sense, too.

What I think is funny is how often a show might mention a real-world team... For example, Sam "Mayday" Malone was a star pitcher for the Boston Red Sox before his alcoholism drove him from the game, and he eventually wound up owning the Boston bar called "Cheers".

But other shows are paranoid about naming names... There was an episode of Law and Order where, after a brawl between the basketball teams from Philadelphia and New York, a player was accused of murdering a guy who heckled him and harassed him after a brawl (this was based on the big brawl where Ron Artest was kicked out of the NBA for the rest of the season after fighting with a fan in the stands). Probably because of legal issues, the teams had fictional names--I think they were the New York Empires and the Philadelphia Cannons--but they were definitely supposed to be NBA teams. (Couldn't find info about them at either wikipedia or at IMDB, except the character was Leon Chiles, played by Joe Morton.)

You could probably get a whole series of infrequent columns on this subject. Maybe call it Screened Sports, or Teleball...

A lot of these fictional teams are located in a list at wiki, although a lot are in books or films:

Happy Splainin!

Gordon Long