Monday, November 2, 2015

Richman Bros/Cleveland Browns Ad – November 12, 1946

It’s a pity that the era of great sports cartoon mascots seems to have passed, at least when it comes to their utilization in advertising and marketing. I guess they must be deemed too old-fashioned and corny, as many teams both professional and local currently have no real mascot character to represent them – just a flashy all-type design.

The Cleveland Indians have certainly downplayed Chief Wahoo in recent years for well-known reasons. The Cleveland Brownie, on the other hand, has made a comeback of sorts.

In the old days, you used to be able to count on seeing a clever cartoon or illustration (especially in the pages of the Plain Dealer, where Dick Dugan’s art was featured) depicting an upcoming matchup between the hometown favorites and the visiting team.

The Chicago Rockets
This tradition was also on display in newspaper ads designed to be imprinted with the names of a local business, such as the Richman Brothers ad above, which appeared in the Lorain Journal on November 12, 1946. The Browns were taking on the Chicago Rockets, so the cartoon appropriately shows the Brownie mascot getting ready to send one into orbit.

I’d never heard of the Chicago Rockets (I’m not a big sports fan). The Rockets’ Wiki page explained that the All-American Football Conference football team did not join the National Football League, unlike the Browns.

Anyway, it’s a cute newspaper ad, cleverly incorporating the names of several Chicago Rockers team members, including Elroy “Crazy Legs” Hirsch, Billy Hillenbrand, Bob “Hunchy” Hoernschemeyer and Ralph Heywood.

The ticket prices are pretty amazing. $3.60 is the price of the most expensive reserved seat.

The Browns ended up winning the game, beating the Rockets 51-14 before a hometown crowd of 60,457. You can review the Browns’ whole 12-2-0 1946 season right here.

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