Before he got into trouble and became baseball's biggest public enemy for the better part of three decades, Pete Rose was an icon. You just don't get called "The Hit King" or "Charlie Hustle" for nothing. He was a living legend on the field, at the plate, and apparently, in television commercials.
Throughout the course of his MLB playing career, and even after, Rose has been featured in several advertisement spots. Do Grecian Formula, Aqua Velva and Muenchen's Furniture ring a ball? There is one retro TV commercial, however, that stands above the rest.
Pete Rose smashing a baseball. Kool-Aid Man screaming "OH YEAH" while busting through the scoreboard and robbing a home run. Little league baseball players making acrobatic, backflip catches. A "Hot Shot" jingle for everyone to sing along with. This thing had it all.
Pete Rose Kool-Aid Commercial
It's not uncommon for Major League Baseball stars, or any other professional athletes for that matter, to be in commercials. It's been happening for a very long time. However, nobody made a ridiculous 1980s spot look even more ridiculous than Rose back in 1986, when he was a player and manager for the Cincinnati Reds in Ohio.
The three-time World Series champion and 17-time MLB All-Star somehow turned a baseball game into an awesome music video and a PSA about sportsmanship.
"OK, rookie," Rose tells Kool-Aid Man. "Play ball."
It would be hard to find any athlete to agree to something like this in today's world, but there were clearly no rules back then.
Pete Rose might not be in the Hall of Fame, but this great commercial deserves to be.
We might as well order some Kool-Aid online while we are at it, too.
This post was originally published on March 24, 2020.
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