This amazing Frank Howard 1969 ad for Nestle Quik has been on YouTube since December, but it only came to my attention after being linked on Nats 320 and then Mister Irrelevant. The former notes that Hondo is “is wearing Number 9, his original uniform number with Washington before Ted Williams took it for the 1969 season and Frank switched to Number 33.” The latter notes that Hondo “was a big son of a bitch who used to hit them way up to my dad and his dad in the leftfield seats. That and he loved his Nestle’s Quik.”
Amazingly, I couldn’t find any contemporary account of this ad in The Post’s archives, but I did find a pretty wonderful 1969 Bob Addie column about Howard and his financial future. Excerpts:
The best guess is that Howard was making $36,000 for his first season (1965) with the Nats. His contract this year calls for $90,000. There is no question that Washington’s all-time highest-paid athlete, for any sport, will also be the first ever to hit the $100,000 class.
The guessing has started but one well-respected source says the big man will be seeking a three-year contract at $125,000 a year when he starts dickering with owner Bob Short.
“This isn’t the time to talk contract,” Howard said. “I’m going all out to have the best season possible and then I’ll think about talking contract.”
Howard has not quite capitalized on the big money — although he does have more endorsements than he ever had before.
“Washington,” he explained wryly,” is not a big commercial market. But I’m not complaining. I’ve done very well.”
Howard has a couple of television shots lined up for the winter and several speaking engagements. The going rate for a banquet appearance for a baseball star is $500 and expenses. The big man acts as his own business agent. Between seasons he has been employed by a Green Bay paper company.
The story goes on to say that in an age of “anti-heroes,” with other Senators succumbing to “long sideburns, colored shirts, double-breasted jackets, thigh-hugging slacks and white or alligator shoes,” Howard remains an all-American anachronism. Which I think the Nestle ad pretty well demonstrates.