Beer In Ads #1151: Roberto Clemente For Ballantine

Friday’s ad is for Ballantine, from around 1950. The ad features Pittsburgh Pirate right fielder Roberto Clemente, so it must have been before 1973, since Clemente died in a plane crash while delivering aid to victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua on December 31, 1972. I still have one of his baseball cards from when I was a kid. If I had to guess, I’d say the ad is not an ad per se, but more likely was part of a baseball program sold at the stadium, except that at second glance the text is in Spanish, saying “Roberto Clemente at bat for Ballantine beer.”



  1. The Duke of Dunkel says

    Good find, Jay. Clemente was one of the best ever. 3,000 hits exactly at the time of his untimely death.

  2. Beerman49 says

    That ad has to be 1955/later – Clemente’s 1st year was 1955 – here’s the link to his MLB career:'R'&sectionType=career&statType=1&season=2014&level='ALL

    What most folks don’t know is that he was signed originally by the Dodgers in 1954 (to play for their AAA farm team in Montreal). They had a surfeit of outfielders in the early-mid 50’s, including RF Carl Furillo (who had a great throwing arm, but aside from HR power was Clemente’s inferior). Dodgers made a big mistake not signing him to MLB contract, so lost him in 11/54 rookie draft. Also, the Hall of Fame made an exception to its 5-years retired rule, & allowed him in the summer after he died in the tragic crash.

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