I started out the month saying I was going to write something every day of December for my Happy Smarty-days event, and that task has proven somewhat difficult thus far. Part of the difficulty is in not clogging up the page with too much nonsense while my colleagues are producing higher quality work.
On the other hand, there are probably some night owls out there who would love some fresh content in the later hours, even if that something is simply talking about a hot dog commercial from 1981.
For all our nocturnal readers out there, please enjoy this Phillies Franks commercial from 1981 featuring Mark Davis.
How does everyone feel after watching that?
It looks like the Phillies Franks marketing group wasn’t working with a huge budget when they made this spot. Between the poor production values, and use of an unproven rookie, it feels like they spent about a $100 on this thing. The star of the commercial was rookie Mark Davis, who would eventually make it to the majors, and presumably was indeed able to eat Phillies Franks all the time.
If you’re unfamiliar with Davis, here’s some history: After making a few cameo appearances with the big-league team across the 1980 and 1981 seasons, he spent all of 1982 in the minors before being traded to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for Al Holland and Joe Morgan. (No shame in being traded for a Hall of Famer, right?)
#OTD in #MLB history (12/14/1982): The #Phillies trade Mike Krukow, Mark Davis, and Charles Penigar to the #SFGiants for Joe Morgan and Al Holland. Morgan and Holland would perform integral roles in the Wheeze Kids' 1983 NL pennant win. pic.twitter.com/azl9MrfCTN— Carolyn Muse (@NLCarolynMuse) December 14, 2021
The Phillies of the early eighties had a habit of trading young players who would eventually go on to stardom elsewhere. While Davis was no Ryne Sandberg, he became a solid reliever for the Giants and eventually ended up on the Padres where he had two All-Star seasons and won the 1989 Cy Young Award for leading the league with 44 saves. (Back in those days, a 40+ save season was seen as a major accomplishment.)
Davis parlayed that success into a large free agent contract with the Royals which he largely did not live up to. (Perhaps that big contract allowed him to purchase too many hot dogs?) He bounced around the league and eventually ended up back in Philadelphia in 1993. He pitched in 25 games for the NL champs that season, but due to ineffectiveness, the team released him in early July.
As a reward for everyone who has followed along with this brief history of Mark Davis, here’a a holiday song for you to enjoy. See you tomorrow!