Vintage Ad Archive: Batter Up!

AlcProfBaseballHeader_1
AlcProfBaseballHeader_1

This is the time of year when spring finally begins in earnest, and with the change in seasons comes the much-awaited start of baseball season.  Teams come out of hibernation, pick-up games start appearing in every park and yard, and children embark on the rituals of seasoning their gloves and honing their throwing and catching skills.

Of course, "America's Pastime" has long seemed a perfect subject around which breweries and distilleries to base their ad campaigns.  Whether sipping a cocktail and watching a game on TV at home, or relaxing with some suds at the ballpark, booze and baseball go hand-in-hand in the public imagination – and companies have always been ready and willing to use the sport as a way to pitch their products.

So with the Major League season having just begun, I've stepped up to the plate and compiled another round of classic advertisements.

AlcProfBaseballBrewFound1945
AlcProfBaseballBrewFound1945

Beer and baseball are inextricably linked in the public imagination.  There's nothing that says "All-American" like having some beers and watching a game, and advertisers keep finding new and different ways to capitalize on that imagery.

Some have looked at the sport from an active perspective.

AlcProfBaseballSchlitz1951
AlcProfBaseballSchlitz1951

Some have focused on the excitement of being a spectator.

And some simply utilize the imagery and pageantry of the game to get their point across.

And over the years, many liquor companies have used a wide variety of approaches, and gotten an accordingly wide variety of results with ads centered around baseball...

As well as some that are only tangentially related.

Canadian Club, 1957
Canadian Club, 1957

And newspaper and magazine ads aren't the only method companies have come up with to reach fans – they've created innumerable branded schedules, calendars, napkins, coasters, placemats, and other items tying in with ballclubs of different localities.

And every now and then, someone even took the time to round up an actual baseball celebrity to make an appearance in an ad!

This Falstaff Beer ad presumably dates from the late 1940s or early 1950s, shortly before Dizzy Dean's St. Louis Cardinals were purchased by Anheuser-Busch.
This Falstaff Beer ad presumably dates from the late 1940s or early 1950s, shortly before Dizzy Dean's St. Louis Cardinals were purchased by Anheuser-Busch.
Rheingold's 1963 New York Mets Calendar, featuring Casey Stengel and "Miss Rheingold".
Rheingold's 1963 New York Mets Calendar, featuring Casey Stengel and "Miss Rheingold".

I have dozens of other wonderful alcohol/baseball ads in my retro archives, but I think I'll leave them for another time.  We're only a couple days into the new season, so there's plenty of time to follow up and assemble a sequel.

And anyway, I need to grab myself a drink – there's a game starting in a few minutes!  Play ball!