Posted at 5:07 PM on June 22, 2005
by Bob Collins
The Twins have committed the Cardinal sin of entertainment. They have become boring. And I cannot use my back-up baseball interest -- the Indians -- to provide me my entertainment because they are currently being smacked down by the Red Sox in the way an older brother throws down the young lad who thought -- erroneously -- he was ready to take over the role of primary alpha male.
And so I put them both out of my mind and journey to that area that I find increasingly comfortable. The past.
The question came up around here today as to the significance of the number 53 on the side of the VW in the new -- and the old -- Herbie movie. As it turned out, it's to honor the late Don Drysdale.
Anytime Drysdale's name is mentioned, it's fodder for great baseball stories. But I chose not to go there either. Instead, I started thinking about memorable commercials with baseball players. And Drysdale is at the top of my list.
He did a commercial for Lifeboy soap in which he, being the star Dodger, ran for the team plane and breathlessly up the stairs (they didn't have jetways then) and into the cabin where he was greeted by a woman -- presumably his wife -- uttering "did you remember to pack my Lifeboy?" She, dutiful as the day dictated, pulls out a bar of Lifeboy and Drysdale is relieved to know he will not, as least in the physical sense, stink on the subsequent road trip. Well great.
That got me to thinking that there aren't a lot of memorable -- or good -- commercials featuring ballplayers. Curt Schilling had a great one for Dunkin' Donuts last year in New England in which he is trying to get acclimated to being in New England, so he is shown sitting on a bench in the clubhouse, a tape recorder in hand, saying over and over again "wicked hahd" until he gets it just right.
Then there's the Cal Ripken commercial over a year or so ago for a real estate company in which the neighbor, Cal, knocks on the door of the folks who just moved in and asks "Can Bobby come out to play." Cute. But not great.
Help me out here. The past is a lonely place.
The only ones I can think of that I might consider "good" were fairly recent... the ESPN (or perhaps even specifically Baseball Tonight) commercials where the sportscasters reenacted famous baseball movie scenes were classic.
The Nike commercial with Maddux and Glavine ("chicks dig the long ball") was quite popular.
There's always good ol' Bob Uecker and Miller Lite.
they had one with boggs for hair restoration...it was so bad it was good.