It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown, is the thirty-fifth, Peanuts TV special. It was originally slated to air on CBS in Spring of 1992, but was cancelled and remained unseen until it was released on video on January 19, 1996. It eventually made its televised premiere on Nickelodeon on February 23, 1998.
This special begins in the winter, while there is snow on the ground, with Charlie Brown shoveling his way to the pitcher's mound, and then wondering where everyone else on his team is.
After that, it then becomes spring, and Charlie Brown is having spring training with his team. The team is practicing, but like always, the team stinks.
Then, a boy named Leland (who is a character from The Goose Eggs in the strip) is seen putting on baseball clothing, and tells his sister, Frieda, that he is going to try out for Charlie Brown's baseball team.
Leland goes to Charlie Brown, and asks if he can join his team. Charlie Brown tests him to see if he is good enough to join, and eventually agrees to let him join.
During a practice, Charlie Brown is annoyed at how lousy his team is, and Lucy tells him that they stink because they don't have uniforms. Charlie Brown talks to Linus later that day, and discusses Lucy may be right and they should get uniforms. They go to Mr. Hennessey's hardware store and ask if he will sponsor his baseball team so they can have uniforms, and Mr. Hennessey agrees, but only on the condition that they win their first baseball game of the season.
The next day, Charlie Brown tells his team the news. They are happy they are being sponsored, but they don't think they will be able to win a game. However, Charlie Brown tells them they can win a game if they try.
The next day is the first game of the season. Charlie Brown reminds the team they will get uniforms if they win. Franklin leads the team to a cheer before the game.
The game begins. Things don't look good when the first person up hits a home run on the first pitch. But Charlie Brown doesn't give up, and the next pitch, Snoopy catches. The team then starts to improve, and they the other team gets three outs, so Charlie Brown's team is up.
The game goes on, and eventually Leland is up, and the score is tied. Leland gets hit, so he goes to first. Then Charlie Brown is up. But before the ball is pitched, Leland (Who can't see anything because his baseball helmet is covering his eyes) steals all the bases and scores, winning the game for Charlie Brown's team. The team celebrates by lifting Leland. This also means the team gets uniforms.
Everyone on the team is happy with the new uniforms, except for Leland, because the uniforms are too big for him. In fact, the fact that they are too big on him, makes Leland quit the team. Charlie Brown tells Leland he understands, and lets Leland quit.
When Charlie Brown tells the team Leland quit, they become upset, since Leland led the team to victory last game. However, Charlie Brown says that maybe that now they have uniforms, the team might win, and everyone agrees. However, the team loses.
The special ends that night, with Charlie Brown with Linus at the wall, and says, "It's not how you look, it's how you play the game."
- Justin Shenkarow – Charlie Brown
- John Christian Graas -Linus van Pelt
- Marnette Patterson – Lucy van Pelt
- Gregory Grudt – Leland
- Travis Boles – Schroeder
- Jessica Nwafor – Franklin
- Elizabeth Moss – Patty
- Michael J. Sandler- Boy Player on Opposing Team
- Noley Thornton – Frieda
- Bill Melendez – Snoopy
- Shermy, "Pig-Pen", Marcie (replacing Patty in an animation error) and 5 appear, but are silent.
- That's What It's All About
- This is the second appearance of Leland in an animated special, except this time he appears without the other Goose Eggs.
- This special shows Frieda and Leland being siblings, though it is not considered canon in the comic strip (in which Leland and Frieda live in different neighborhoods).
- This is the second TV special in which Charlie Brown's baseball team wins a game, the other being It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown.
- Some animation from the special would be later used for the 1997 direct-to-video film, It Was My Best Birthday Ever, Charlie Brown.
- It is unclear who the girl on Charlie Brown's baseball team is, as she wears glasses in two shots (hence some people believe she is supposed to be Marcie), while in another scene she is shown talking to Lucy without the glasses, showing that she could possibly be Patty. It is currently unknown who she is, though it was likely an error and meant to be Patty, as the appearance of Marcie was only in two shots. The girl also wears an orange shirt (like Patty), has brown hair and green pants.
- Franklin appears on the team despite being shown on Peppermint Patty's baseball team in the strip.
- This is the second special in which Mr. Hennessey agrees to sponsor Charlie Brown's baseball team, if they win a game, the first being Charlie Brown's All-Stars. This time, however, the team wins a game, and both the girls and Snoopy remain on the team. Hennessey also is shown briefly handing the team their uniforms.
- This is the last special with music by Judy Munsen. Starting With It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown, music would be done by David Benoit. This is also the last special with no Vince Guaraldi music at all.
- This is the final special to be animated by the original in-house animation team at Bill Melendez Productions.
- It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown on the Internet Movie Database.
- It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown on the Big Cartoon Database.
- It's Spring Training, Charlie Brown on AllMovie.