Tuesday’s ad is for Carling’s Red Cap Ale, from 1951. In this ad, part of another series featuring well-known celebrities of the day and the tagline “x person, too, has graduated to Carling’s — the LIGHT-HEARTED ale!,” it features “American baseball player and manager” Frankie Frisch wearing an Oxford cap, or mortarboard, with a small red cap on top of it while holding up a glass of Red Cap Ale. He was “nicknamed The Fordham Flash or The Old Flash, was a German-American Major League Baseball player and manager of the first half of the twentieth century. Frisch was a switch-hitting second baseman who threw right-handed. He played for the New York Giants (1919–1926) and St. Louis Cardinals (1927–1937). He managed the Cardinals (1933–1938), Pittsburgh Pirates (1940–1946) and Chicago Cubs (1949–1951). He is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum.
I confess I completely forgot about the baseball season starting tomorrow. I’d set up the annual Brookston Hitting Derby, but promptly forgot about it again. We used to call it a Home Run Derby because to keep things simpler, we only counted those, but more recently I monkeyed with the scoring (because I generally can’t keep well enough alone) so while it’s still simpler than being in a full-blown fantasy baseball league, there are now more ways to get points. Still, we do it just for fun, and there are twenty spaces available if you want to play along, although we only need four to draft (two more now). But hurry up, the league will draft late tonight since the season starts tomorrow, so sign up today if you want to join.
In order to join the league, follow this link, and I think that’s all you have to do, other then follow the on-screen instructions. If that’s not right, or you’re having trouble, leave a comment below and a way to reach you. Otherwise, see you on the diamond.
Thursday’s ad is for Pabst Blue Ribbon, from 1949. In the later 1940s, Pabst embarked on a series of ads with celebrity endorsements, photographing star actors, athletes, musicians and other famous people in their homes, enjoying Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. This one features Mr. and Mrs. Larry Doby. He “was an American professional baseball player in the Negro leagues and Major League Baseball (MLB) who was the second black player to break baseball’s color barrier. A native of Camden, South Carolina and three-sport all-state athlete while in high school in Paterson, New Jersey, Doby accepted a basketball scholarship from Long Island University. At 17 years of age, he began his professional baseball career with the Newark Eagles as the team’s second baseman. Doby joined the United States Navy during World War II. His military service complete, Doby returned to baseball in 1946, and along with teammate Monte Irvin, helped the Eagles win the Negro League World Series.”
In July 1947, three months after Jackie Robinson, Doby broke the MLB color barrier in the American League when he signed a contract to play with Bill Veeck’s Cleveland Indians. Doby was the first player to go directly to the majors from the Negro leagues. A seven-time All-Star center fielder, Doby and teammate Satchel Paige were the first African-American players to win a World Series championship when the Indians won in 1948. He helped the Indians win a franchise-record 111 games and the AL pennant in 1954, finished second in the AL Most Valuable Player (MVP) award voting and was the AL’s RBI leader and home run champion. He went on to play for the Chicago White Sox, Detroit Tigers, and Chunichi Dragons before his retirement as a player in 1962.
Doby later served as the second black manager in the majors with the Chicago White Sox, and in 1995 was appointed to a position in the AL’s executive office. He also served as a director with the New Jersey Nets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He was selected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998 by the Hall’s Veterans Committee and died in 2003 at the age of 79.
In the ad, Doby is in his home, sharing a beer with, presumably, a friend, while holding a baseball trophy in his hands. I feel like at some point he’s going to have to put that down, or he won’t be able to drink an of his beer.
Wednesday’s ad is for Pabst Blue Ribbon, from 1950. In the later 1940s, Pabst embarked on a series of ads with celebrity endorsements, photographing star actors, athletes, musicians and other famous people in their homes, enjoying Pabst Blue Ribbon beer. This one features Tommy Henrich. He “was an American professional baseball player, nicknamed ‘The Clutch’ and ‘Old Reliable.’ He played his entire Major League Baseball career as a right fielder and first baseman for the New York Yankees (1937–1942 and 1946–1950). Henrich led the American League in triples twice and in runs scored once, also hitting 20 or more home runs four times. He is best remembered for his numerous exploits in the World Series; he was involved in one of the most memorable plays in Series history in 1941, was the hitting star of the 1947 Series with a .323 batting average, and hit the first walk-off home run in Series history in the first game of the 1949 World Series.”
In the ad, Henrich is showing off his “World-Series home run baseball” in what looks to be his study. I think they’re referring to the 1949 World Series, the year before, when “he gave New York a 1-0 victory in Game 1 when he homered against Don Newcombe on a 2-0 pitch to lead off the ninth inning, the first walk-off home run ever in the World Series.” Shortly before the ad ran, on January 19, 1950, he was awarded “Athlete of the Year,” although I don’t really know who gave him the accolade.
Wednesday’s ad is for Budweiser, from 1984. In this ad, a poster really, it shows Wrigley Field and congratulates the Chicago Cubs for being the National League Eastern Division Champs. Tonight the Cubs won their first World Series in a very long time. When I couldn’t keep my eyes open any longer, they were up 4-1, and when I work up this morning in Belgium, it looks like I missed a barnburner of a finish.
Saturday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1940. In this ad, entitled “Something On The Ball,” there are several sports using balls highlighted — golf, football, bowling and tennis, but baseball is the most prominent one, and since this ad ran five years before the last time the Chicago Cubs appeared in a World Series, I figured it was appropriate for today’s ad with them finally making it to the series this year. The ad finally comes around to tying it into Schlitz, by saying while the sports have “something on the ba;;,” Schlitz is so good it has “everything on the ball.”
Friday’s ad is for Miller High Life, from 1950. In this ad, from the back of a baseball game program, a star player who’s tipping his hat, revealing a buzz cut, is taking a bow while holding four bats. So maybe he’s just warming up and getting ready for his at-bat. I’m not sure if he’s the favorite or the beer is, but my money’s on the beer.
Thursday’s ad is for Miller High Life, from 1948. In this ad, from the back of a baseball game program, two players are arguing while an umpire. It’s to say exactly what’s going on since the catcher appears to holding the bat. How, or why, he took it from the batter is anybody’s guess. The ball is on the ground and another player is laying down behind, possibly on a base, and watching the scene unfold. As for the ump, he just seems to be standing there serenely, with his hands folded in front of him, waiting for the storm to subside. I think they could all use a beer.