"Take Me Out of the Ball Game" is the 59th episode of King of the Hill. It was first aired on May 11, 1999. The episode was written by Alan R. Cohen and Alan Freedland, and directed by Chris Moeller. The name alludes to the popular baseball song "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."
Hank is picked to coach Strickland Propane's softball team, causing friction with pitcher Peggy. She points out that he hasn't been supportive of her pitching already in a Parks League team (The Lady Giants) and only considers Buck's team to be "real."
While Hank wants nothing more than to be the ultimate coach, do the best job possible and lead the team to victory, his early decisions are overruled by Buck, as when Peggy wants Luanne to play catcher in place of Enrique. Hank's condescending demeanor towards Peggy herself throws her off her game. Although she is practically single-handedly responsible for the team's success, she begins to lose her stuff when Hank feels threatened by her undermining his status as her husband and puts her down.
Meanwhile Bobby tries Arrow Girl Cookies, hates them and attempts to sell his own--igniting a war between him and the Arrow Girls, including Connie.
- Hank Hill
- Peggy Hill
- Bobby Hill
- Luanne Platter
- Dale Gribble
- Jeff Boomhauer
- Bill Dauterive
- M.F. Thatherton
- Buck Strickland
- Joe Jack
- Roger "Booda" Sack
- Maria Montalvo
- Kahn Souphanousinphone
- Minh Souphanousinphone
- Connie Souphanousinphone
- Miss Kremzer
- Sharona Johnson (cameo)
- Buckley (cameo)
- Chuck Mangione (cameo)
- Mrs. Fybel (cameo)
- Rita Bavacqua (cameo)
- Kurt Bevacqua (cameo)
- In this episode Connie and Bobby Hill officially begin dating when Connie proclaims Bobby her boyfriend after tasting his butter cookies. They had previously kissed and hinted at crushing on each other but had yet to make anything official.
- "Scattered, smothered and covered" refers to a way of preparing hash brown potatoes by frying them on a griddle or in a skillet with diced onions and with a slice of American cheese on top.
- At the beginning of the episode, a yearbook photo of Bobby Hill and Connie dancing is shown. This photo is from the end of the episode Love Hurts and So Does Art where Bobby Hill and Connie are dancing together at the school dance.
- Hank reveals that for years Tuesday has been the night that he drinks beer in the alley with the guys.
- The softball teams that Strickland Propane complete against are the following: 1. Luly's, 2. H. Dumpty's, 3. Jugstore Cowboys, 4. Arlen Fire Department, 5. Fort Blanda Army Base 6. Thatherton Fuels.
- Kurt Bevacqua was a former Major League infielder who played from 1971 to 1985. He played for the Texas Rangers for the 1977 and 1978 MLB Season.
- When Peggy pitches the baseball and ends up hurting someone it’s a reference to the Hey Arnold episode “Dangerous Lumber” when Arnold ends up hurting someone when it’s his turn to hit the baseball.
- Softball is played on all dirt infields, not all grass. There is no pitcher's mound in softball, just a pitcher's circle. All co-ed leagues are slow-pitch, not fast-pitch.
- The man keeping track of Peggy's strikeouts during the Jugstore Cowboys game is using the wrong "K." When someone strikes out looking (without swinging), it is denoted by a backwards "K."
- Hank explains the requirements to play on the Strickland softball team as either "You have a Strickland pay stub or be a wife of an employee." Dale replies "I sprayed Strickland for termites meaning I have a paystub!" This is actually false. Dale would be considered a contractor and receive a 1099 for his services, not a W-2 (or a paystub). Yet he's still allowed to play on the team.