For as long as baseball has been our national pastime, its stars have been used by countless businesses and corporations as spokesmen. These endorsements have been effective at times, failures at others.
But the overall consensus is that baseball players are horrible actors and about as convincing in a commercial as your Uncle Lionel.
It's very tough to make a list of the most ridiculous endorsements of all time because, for one, not every endorsement is online, and unfortunately my memory doesn't stretch back into the 1930s.
Regardless, I'm going to take a stab at it. From Corky's Pest Control to Viagra, here are the most ridiculous player endorsements in Major League Baseball history.
"Let's just say it works for me."
Okay, Rafael, that's just too much. Imagine watching a baseball game with your little son, and during a commercial break, this ad comes on.
Upon hearing Palmeiro's famous line, your son asks, "What does that mean?"
Holy Toledo. This was probably the single most awkward endorsement in the history of endorsements.
Things that we learn from this video:
1) Dustin Pedroia's favorite subject in school was math. He must have really sucked at it.
2) Jim Rice takes creepy to a whole new level.
3) Little girl is the best actor in the commercial.
4) So much for continuity. Mr. Sullivan comes on to talk about his tiyahs and how he has the ansahs—OUT OF NOWHERE.
Nothing like putting a huge pair of feet in front of your face, right?
The folks that make MP-27 probably weren't thinking too much when they had an old Mickey Mantle spray their product on Andre the Giant's feet. What a waste of an Oklahoma accent!
This is nothing short of shameful for Mantle. He deserves better than this. Maybe Lotrimin Ultra should have come calling.
In other news, Michelle Ryan is having a blast watching this video.
This is like Gallagher meets Bruce Lee in a commercial.
Here you have Akinori Otsuka pounding away at his food with a baseball bat (overkill?) in order to get rid of all the ants infesting it. But don't worry, that's not the worst part.
That honor goes to the 0:20 mark, where Otsuka leads a group of employees in the company's "jingle," which sounds more like something the producer came up with 10 seconds before the shot.
When Roger Clemens was a young boy dreaming of becoming a great pitcher, do you think he had this in mind?
Well, here he is, in all of his youthful glory, singing songs about a body wash with older women.
This is really great if you are a Clemens hater, but it brings up an interesting point.
Maybe Clemens used steroids just to cancel out the estrogen released during this commercial.
I'm not quite sure what it is, but these companies really do love Yankee legends, don't they? I mean, it's one thing for Derek Jeter to endorse a product. But this is Joe DiMaggio at age 55, endorsing nothing other than a coffee filter.
See, it's not really that this is a bad commercial. But DiMaggio sure does look out of place. He's got a nice voice, but how enthusiastic can you really be about Mr. Coffee?
Not quite sure who the target audience was here, but hey, the fact that Mr. Coffee still exists means this ad served its purpose.
You can bet that Pete Rose wasn't quite sure what he was getting himself into by doing this commercial. In fact, I'd wager that he probably didn't even know who the Kool-Aid Man was.
Regardless, this is one weird commercial. Rose appears to have hit a home run off a small child until—BOOM!—the Kool-Aid Man smashes through the scoreboard and makes the catch. Then, the big jug of juice runs away.
I wonder what the line was that Rose would ruin his image doing this commercial. This was definitely a gamble for Charlie Hustle's credibility, and it backfired.
Raise your hand if you miss late '90s-early 2000s baseball video games. Everyone's hand should be up.
This is not about the quality of the product Sosa is endorsing, because it was honestly a pretty cool game. But there is one line in the commercial that just had me in stitches watching it.
"It's so reeeeeeeal!"
Oh Sammy. This one will go down as the worst baseball player-endorsed video game.
Bonus question: Who is the Reds player who falls down swinging at a pitch at the 0:10 mark?
I have truly and utterly failed in this article. I could not find the video of the Tom Emanski Baseball commercial featuring Fred McGriff. Please forgive me.
This was probably the longest-running baseball commercial ever, but the reason remains a mystery. It shows young baseball players in identical uniforms doing identical drills. It's almost like this was an edited version of Star Wars: Attack of the Clones.
Then you have Fred McGriff, the Crime Dog, endorsing the techniques. Oh Fred. If only these young guys had the helicopter follow-through that you did.
To end this list continuing with the trend of baseball players endorsing baseball products, I give you Brian Wilson.
Is there a funnier guy in baseball than him? No. Has there been? Possibly not.
After all, "Not even the most perfect honey" is sweeter than his beard.
This commercial isn't bad. It's not that ridiculous. But it's just too funny to ignore.
Do your thing, Brian Wilson. Do your thing.