Vintage Baseball Ads From 1900-1960

Companies constantly try to swindle us into buying their crap by having celebrity endorsements.The more cash strapped celebs, AKA athletes, have appeared in ads since before the 20th century even began.

Today, athletes endorse the usual suspects, Gatorade, Nike, cars, watches and shaving cream and razors, and if you’re Tiger Woods, Trojans.

But back in the day, it was big tobacco that brought together the athlete and the endorsement.

The tobacco companies devised a clever plan in selling their cancer ridden products…baseball cards. Yup, one of a kid’s favorite hobbies, collecting baseball cards, was brought to us by tobacco companies.

Baseball cards were included with tobacco products from the 1880’s to the end of WWII, and, became much sought after collector items. Ever hear of that Honus Wagner card that has sold for millions? That’s one of those tobacco cards.

Eventually, other companies realized that having a baseball player appear in one of your ads could sell some junk. They quickly capitalized on the growing trend, and shazam, some of the era’s most known players were selling everything from beer to Coke to Yoo-Hoo to sporting equipment.

These vintage ads are both awesome, and ironically hysterical.

Nothing better than seeing a legendary player like Willie Mays pushing cigarettes. Can you imagine the hoopla that would occur if Albert Pujols did a cigarette ad? I think people would literally sh*t bricks. If only we weren’t so wimpy today.

Regardless, here’s a trip in our own, and very cheaply made, hot tub time machine, to take a look back at vintage baseball ads from the first half of the 20th century.

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