Mike Piazza’s Love Affair With the Commercial

Recently I decided to read Mike Piazza's new book, Long Shot. I wasn't expecting literature that would challenge my deepest held beliefs nor was I hoping for lyrical prose poetry. So in the end, I guess I got what a paid for: a mild diversion from my eventual demise co-written by baseball's greatest offensive catcher and mustache grower. 

Along the way, I also learned that Mike Piazza likes a lot of things. For instance: 

– Hitting

– Olive Garden

– Girls

– Hitting

– Baseball (sometimes)

– Hitting

– Heavy Metal

– Hitting to Heavy Metal

– Eric Karros

I'm sure there were some other things in the book, though I missed them entirely. 

After reading, I wanted to dig a little deeper. Not into the psyche of the man or even into his statistical record as a player. No, I wanted to look at his commercial body of work. At the things that would make him popular to the common, non-baseball-loving citizen. In other words, television commercials. Here they are.

Mike Piazza for Fox Baseball:

Oddly enough, in this commercial advertising the Fox game of the week, it would be Fox's purchase of the Dodgers that lead to Piazza's trade to the Marlins and eventually the Mets. 

Even odder is that Piazza, in light wash jeans like the kind my Dad and Jerry Seinfeld wear, says nothing to his date, instead choosing to gesture wildly to his crotch. Instead of fleeing in terror like a normal person would, this woman instead hangs around, interpreting Piazza's wild movements as if they made any sense at all. Don't miss this weekend's game, folks!

Mike Piazza for Pert Plus:

Memory is weird, man. Chances are I was somewhere around ten years old when this commercial came out and while I can't remember any of my classmates names from that year, I do remember the transformation from Mike Piazza's long, sweaty stringy hair to the thick, voluminess mass that clings to the back of his head after using Pert Plus. This may explain a lot about my lifestyle choices. 

Mike Piazza for 10-10-220

And now we've reached the 10-10-220 years, that strange time in America when payphones still existed and Twitter wasn't a thing. It was a confusing time for America, mostly because how were we supposed to choose between 10-10-220 and 1-800-COLLECT, especially when they both had B-list celebrities at the ready?  

Though I suppose we should be thankful for these commercials, otherwise we never would have seen the Brave and the Bold-esque team-ups of Piazza and a cheap Emmitt Smith: 

Jan Hooks in the most shameful role of her career: 

Terry Bradshaw and Piazza's frosted tips: 

Or just a couple of bros like Piazza and Hulk Hogan not understanding art (because, come on, art is stupid, bro). Also, Mike Piazza saying "BROTHER":

Although none of these measure up to Piazza's commercial with ALF, the cat-eating sitcom star who had been off the air for nearly 10 years:

Finally though, we have Mike Piazza's Power Bat:

Does this not make sense to you? Maybe it's supposed to be a French Expressionist piece, but I lost the narrative in the first ten seconds. Does Piazza want to defeat mere children in a game of baseball? Why would he name his equipment the Power Hitter then? And just who are these children with their non-descript, non-logo clothing? Where did they come from? 

Sadly, in today's newfangled DVR world and with other sports asserting their dominance in the marketing arena, we may never see a commercial string quite like Piazza's. When next year's Hall of Fame election comes around, let's just hope thNew York American Marketing Association Marketing Hall of Fame board members get it right. 

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