The internet is a treasure trove of items that have left our collective memories, or never existed there in the first place, like old (good and bad) commercials featuring our favorite baseball team. In fact, here are some now:
Ozzie Smith - Atari Baseball
Ozzie is quite possibly the most marketable player the Cardinals have ever had. He's better known for his role in a classic Simpsons episode but he was in a lot of commercials as well. Some pretty bad ones, too. Here, without any MLB licensing (replace "St. Louis" with "Super-X Pharmacy" and he's wearing my old tee-ball jersey), he's plugging Atari Baseball. At the beginning of the clip, Ozzie mentions that he's been to three World Series and appeared in seven All-Star games which dates this commercial between the 1987 and 1988 seasons. That's pretty late for Atari to still be trying to compete with Nintendo so they likely called in Ozzie for one last shot at relevancy. It didn't work but we all know they could have done much worse than the Wizard.
Mark McGwire - No Fear clothing wear
This is from when McGwire was still with the A's but holy cow it's the craziest thing I've ever seen. The message here is if you stand in the middle of a circle of what I presume are major league pitchers and they wind up and throw baseballs at you, it won't hurt so long as you're not afraid, I guess. Just watch, the baseballs bounce right off McGwire like he's Superman. Listen to those thuds. He doesn't even flinch - just glares. And then he picks up one of the balls and hits it to Siberia. So cool.
David Freese - Imo's Pizza
Imo's capitalized on Freese's heroics in 2011 with this commercial and I swear it aired during every commercial break during the 2012 and 2013 season. It's not good but what I like about it is Freese is stifling laughter the entire time as if his friends and teammates are behind the camera telling him how ridiculous he looks.
Jack Clark - Patterson Tire
Jack the Ripper is helping his friends at Patterson Tire "knock the competition out of the park." Be sure to watch until the end for the crazy maniacal laugh in unison. Yikes.
Vince Coleman - RBI Baseball NES
We don't actually see Vince but he is mentioned directly by name. And for good reason - if he got a reasonable jump it was impossible to throw him out stealing second in this game. Simply impossible. This is also still the best baseball video game ever made.
Mark McGwire - Vortex Power Bat
First, the scowling bully playing catcher is hilarious. Second, I can't tell for sure but I think they're pitching and hitting oranges. Third, the guy in the background at the 00:27 mark cheering on McGwire's famous home run celebration is having the time of his life. Good on him.
Whitey Herzog and Jack Buck - Busch Beer
Here are flashbacks to when beer commercials made sense and were just a couple of regular Joes shooting the breeze and having a few cold ones. And yeah, Whitey explains the double steal and other baseball strategies as an act of subterfuge to steal Jack's beers but Jack seems almost pleased to be the foil so it's fine.
Albert Pujols - ESPN
Albert's dismissive "shut up" to the copy machine near the end still makes me laugh.
Ozzie Smith - Vess Soda
I highlighted this commercial last Friday because it has everything: Ozzie playing the role of a magician, doing a backflip (I'm guessing 90% of commercials with Ozzie featured him doing a backflip), the arches at old Busch, the kid saying "oh Oz!" when Ozzie sprays the pop at the 00:22 mark. I tweeted out this commercial last week, too, and it got favorited by Vess' official account which only has 78 followers. For those in the know, is Vess not doing so well these days?
Lou Brock - The Yellow Pages
So here's something which those who grew up in St. Louis may have known but I certainly didn't: Cardinals' legend Lou Brock owned a florist shop. I also didn't know that the Yellow Pages used to advertise but who cares, this is phenomenal.
St. Louis Cardinals 2006 World Series team and fans - Budweiser
With the upcoming season being the tenth anniversary of the 2006 World Series team, this is a good one to end on. If you're like me and grew up in the 80s but were a bit too young to remember the '82 championship, seeing this team on the good side of the final out of the season after so many near-misses was such a joy and relief. The Cardinals will be celebrating this team throughout the 2016 season but you can get a head start by watching this commercial.
That's a wrap (sorry). If I missed any good ones please feel free to share.