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A Video Blast From The Cubs' Past

The way it used to be -- both for television and the Cubs.

While we await Saturday afternoon's Cubs/Nationals game, I thought you'd all be amused by this video.

It's a television commercial done by WGN/Cubs radio announcers Vince Lloyd and Lou Boudreau, which aired on Chicago television Thursday, December 20, 1979.

The Cubs had come off three decent, though not winning, seasons ending in 1979, in which they briefly contended in each of the three seasons. So in order to drum up some advance ticket sales for 1980, the Cubs apparently thought it would be a good idea to put their radio voices on television to sell gift certificates for 1980 tickets as a Christmas gift -- five days before Christmas.

You're right -- team marketing in those days wasn't so great. I pass this along as an example not only of Cubs marketing practices in the 1970s, but of television commercial production values; this one seems straight out of the late 1950s. The $6.50 gift certificate Vince shows would have bought one 1980 box seat; "reserved grandstand", as mentioned by Lou in the ad, cost $5.

Those dollar amounts won't buy you a beer at Wrigley Field in 2013. Tempus fugit. The photo attached to this post (seen on the front page) is from 1975; the ballpark looked this way in 1979 and 1980, too.

You can watch the video above, and also here: