Tuesday Throwback: Nike Says Chicks Dig The Long Ball

16 years ago yesterday, Mark McGwire hit has 62nd home run of the season, breaking Roger Maris’ long-standing single season record. 1998 is often hailed as banner year in baseball, because of the homer record chase. For the season, McGwire finished with 70, while Sammy Sosa had 66. It was an era where home run totals exploded in general, and Barry Bonds would end up breaking McGwire’s record by hitting 73 just three years later. Of course, we now view these years through a different lens, as many of the era’s greatest sluggers have either admitted (McGwire) or are almost certainly known to have used steroids (Sosa and Bonds, among others). So that makes this 1998 Nike spot an interesting period piece. In it, Atlanta Braves pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine, both 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame inductees, jealously view Mark McGwire blasting batting practice dingers. He’s getting all the attention, including from the admiring Heather Locklear (yeah, it was 1998 alright). Then they comically practice their hitting and work on their physiques. By the end, they’re blasting the ball, and Locklear takes notice. Maddux says the iconic line: “chicks dig the long ball”, which was concocted by Maddux and Glavine themselves.

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