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In honor of Hank Aaron's 79th birthday yesterday…

If you were in the market for a new television in 1975, you could do worse than taking the advice of the brand new home run king.

I don't know what my favorite part of this ad for the Magnavox Videomatic portable television (portable?) is, but there are a number of candidates. Let's count them.

  • The unkempt bundle of papers in the lower left corner, as if Hammerin' Hank really did kick back there everyday. I'm pretty sure that's a Home section sticking out.
  • Aaron, who is famous for his ties to the south, appears to be watching a USC/UCLA game on his brand new television.
  • The weird transition from solid wood bookshelf to poorly constructed brick fireplace—it's just like home!
  • Hank's plaid slacks and dark leather shoes are quite stylish…
  • But not nearly as stylish as that skin-tight white turtle neck!
  • The little television cart is adorable.
  • The framed picture of what looks like Billye Aaron is a genuinely nice touch.

I do love the advertisement for all of those reasons, but my favorite is simple: the image of Hank Aaron, one of the greatest ball players to ever play the game and one of the most famous men in America, coming home to a crappy little 20-inch tv on wheels. Even considering small crowds, astroturf, the advent of the DH and free agency, and everything else that has changed since then, nothing has quite driven home the difference in eras between today and Aaron's playing days than that one image. The only thing that could have made it better was if "The Partridge Family" was on the screen instead. What a missed opportunity, Magnavox!