An old Starfleet classmate of Sisko challenges him and his crew to a game of… baseball. That old classmate, Solok, is not only a captain, but a Vulcan – and so is his whole crew. Such was the premise of the seventh-season Deep Space Nine hour “Take Me Out to the Holosuite,” which premiered 18 years ago today.
Worf, Dax, Rom, Quark, Jake, Leeta, Nog, Kira and others in baseball uniforms? Vulcans playing baseball? The ever-cranky Odo as an umpire? Yes, yes and yes. Sisko’s team was deubbed the Niners, while Solok’s team was quite logically dubbed the Logicians. As directed with a very light hand by Chip Chalmers, it was all just as preposterous and entertaining as one might expect.
Some memorable moments, highlights and trivia:
A natural right-hander, Max Grodenchik played Rom as a lefty. And that's because Grodenchik was so good in high school that he nearly considered professional baseball as a livelihood. Thus, he rightly went lefty for “Take Me Out to the Holosuite” in order to make Rom look as awful on the field as the character was supposed to be.
Odo tossing Sisko from the game… priceless.
The late Michael Piller, then DS9's executive prodcuer, was a huge baseball fan. He had baseball cards and baseballs in his office at Paramount, but it was actually Ronald D. Moore who penned the teleplay and Ira Steven Behr who shepherded “Take Me Out to the Holosuite” through the production process.
Real baseball connection: Cirroc Lofton is the nephew of real-life former MLB star Kenny Lofton. The elder Lofton was still an active player at the time.
DS9 and Fame? It's true. This episode was based on “The Ol Ball Game,” a 1985 episode of the series… Fame. And none other than Behr penned that one, too.
The Anthem of the United Federation of Planets is performed for the first – and only – time on screen.
"Holosuite” was the final Trek episode directed by Chalmers, who’d previously helmed several TNG episodes and the DS9 hour “The Magnificent Ferengi.” Chalmers exited from directing in 2003 to teach at Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts, and remained there until recently. He now lives in Los Angeles again, where he pursues his love of… magic. As the longstanding member of The Magic Castle puts it, “It’s what I’ve always done.”