"That's what the man said, you heard what he said, he said that!"
Bugs Bunny steps up to the plate and plays every position for an outgunned old-timers team, the Tea Totallers, against the Gashouse Gorillas, a team of brutes that is manhandling the group of septuagenarians. Our hero decides to lend a hand by taking over and playing every defensive position for his squad, plus batting through the order. Whew!The rabbit plays Ironman baseball, from pitching an agonizing slowball that leads to three consecutive strikeouts (all on the same pitch!) to catching his own dizzying self-pitched fastballs. The reason? All because he heckled the Gorillas, who then called the rabbit out. And of course, you know, that had to mean war.
As with nearly any Bugs Bunny short, this was Bugs reacting to his antagonists. He outwits, outplays and outlasts (wait a minute...) his foes because - in the grand scheme of things - they're dumb. Mike Maltese has little dialogue written for the Gorillas: outside of arguing with the umpire, there's mostly just the grunts and occasionally sinister (yet slow-witted) laugh, leaving Bugs to make his wiseass comments.
The beauty of Baseball Bugs was in the sight gags.
From the literally screaming line drive to right field, to the Gorillas racking up the runs continuously while in a conga line, to a speaking cameo from the Statue Of Liberty (!), they all make you tend to forget the somewhat repetitive nature of the story. It settles into a rhythm, though, and the audience can just sit back, laugh and enjoy it. Director Friz Freleng keeps things moving at a good pace (though it's hard to drag down a seven minute and twenty-odd second cartoon, particular in the Warner Bros./Looney Tunes heyday), and as always, Mel Blanc's voice work is stellar. Bea Benaderet, a veteran voice actor best known as both the voice of Betty Rubble and the voice of Granny in the Sylvester & Tweety shorts, does the honors as the Statue Of Liberty.Baseball Bugs is one of the better sports-themed shorts in the Warner Bros./Looney Tunes lineup, although it hasn't aged well. Still, you could do worse. A solid short, and well worth your time.