“The Giants Win the Pennant!” Brought to You By Smooth Chesterfield Tobacco!

In honor of the San Francisco Giants earning a trip to the World Series, here’s a pic of an item I spotted at the WFMU Record Fair last weekend:

It’s a limted edition 78 of Russ Hodge’s famous call of Bobby Thompson’s “Shot Heard Around the World”, which propelled the then-New York Giants to a World Series appearance, and also capped a monumental, nigh-Mets-ian collapse by the Brooklyn Dodgers.

The record was a special gift for members of the Chesterfield 3-in-1 Club. Google held few answers about the nature of this club; I assume it was some sort of loyalty/points-type offer (like Camel Cash decades later). I do know that Chesterfield had an enormous ad at the Giants’ home stadium, the Polo Grounds, on the face of the entrances to the clubhouses (which was curiously located in the stadium’s cavernous centerfield). Chesterfield also sponsored their radio broadcasts. Notice that the announcer is referred to as “Chesterfield’s Russ Hodges,” with no mention of the Giants next to his name whatsoever. Also notice he has a Chesterfield firmly clamped in his left hand.

Just six short years after Thompson went deep, the Giants packed up and moved to the left coast, which still seems completely insane to me. People remain angry about the Dodgers moving away and taking their insigina, uniforms, and history with them, but the Giants had an even longer (and more successful) legacy, and yet when they left Harlem, they completely vanished from New York’s baseball consciousness.

None of this will prevent me from rooting for them in the upcoming World Series. What might do so is a disturbing number of Met killers on their roster, like Cody Ross and Pat Burrell. And while I appreciate Brian Wilson’s work against the Phillies, his laughably fake black beard is the worst facial hair in the playoffs since Scott Spiezio’s red chin-snatch. Not to mention that the Giants are Chris “Mad Dog” Russo’s favorite team, and the thought of him being happy sickens me.

The Rangers seem a slightly more likable team on the surface. It would be great if Vlad Guerrero–a player whose insane dominance has already been forgotten–could get a World Series ring. Then again, I consider myself an NL guy, and the Rangers have another Met killer on their bench (albeit one who barely plays, Jorge Cantu). And if Jeff Francoeur smiled his way to a championship, the New York sportswriters corps might spontaneously orgasm with glee.

Truth be told, more than anything else, I’m rooting for a long, enjoyable, well-played series, which we have not had (arguably) since 2002. And I am grateful that this year, I don’t have to choose between the evil of two lessers.