As a child of the 1970s I remember Joe Namath hawking products and lending his name to virtually everything. But I don’t remember this Tom Seaver ad. And it would be one thing if it was quality clothes in some upscale department store or boutique.

But these are leisure clothes from Sears. We bought a lot of stuff from there and the Sears catalogs always were around in our house. I’m thinking that I saw it but that I must have successfully blocked it out of my mind.

The story has been told that M. Donald Grant did not want to think of ballplayers as his equal and the thought of someone like Seaver showing up at his country club was enough to make his skin crawl. I used to think of that as elitism at its worst but after having seen this ad, I think I might have a clue where Grant was coming from.

I recognize that ballplayers were grateful when uniforms changed from heavy, baggy cotton to more form-fitting double knits but I fear they were carrying their baseball fashion sense just a bit too far. And the lime green here just sends it completely over the edge.

Cue Frank Zappa

I need the knits
The double knits
I need the knits
They are the pits
I need the knits
The double knits

I recognize that Seaver is married and couldn’t have done a commercial with Farrah Fawcett hanging all over him like Namath did but … this? Much like Peyton Manning today, I wish Seaver would have just said, “No thanks” when an ad like this was offered to him.

Let’s hope that Seaver has better taste in wine today than he had in clothes back in 1976.


Thanks – I think – to Big Hair and Plastic Grass for posting this on Facebook.

9 comments on “As a fashion spokesman Tom Seaver was a terrific pitcher

  • kjs

    Speaking of the caste system here before Marvin Miller’s impact was fully felt throughout MLB, in the late 60s/early 70s, players such as Jerry Grote and Al Weis lived in my lower-middle–class area of Queens called Glen Oaks. Karl Earhardt (the Sign Man) lived there, too. Seaver was unusual—he did come from money and lived in Greenwich, CT., which was very unusual for a ballplayer in that day.

    As for the duds, well, they look like typical early 70s gear…

  • Peter Hyatt

    What an article!

    Brian, I have to ask you:

    Were you at Hofstra University watching Joe Namath practicing, chanting, “My old pal ovaltine” ?

    I remember him signing every autograph for kids…long after others had left.

    By the way, Tom Seaver was my idol growing up. The green leisure suit takes him down a notch.

  • steevy

    Ha,Tom was just a victim of the times.You should see my school pictures fom the 70’s(actually no,no one should see those!).

  • steevy

    Slightly OT but Seaver was a terrible broadcaster.They replayed a game the other day(the 10 run rally game against the Braves) and it was Seaver and Thorne and it was awul.

  • kjs

    How nice it would be if Seaver took a public stance against the Wilpons.

  • Doug Parker

    Turtleneck Tom is a stone-cold pimp. Don’t know about the other three…

    • Brian Joura

      It’s amazing that the hipsters haven’t started wearing these. Seaver would like right at home in any of these outfits with a PBR in his hand.

  • NostraDennis

    Did Seaver win four Masters tournaments while I wasn’t looking? God, that gives me flashbacks of my senior prom pictures.

    • Brian Joura

      If we had comment rating I’d give this a +1. Hey at least you didn’t have the powder blue look for your prom…

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