Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Monday, August 13, 2012

Don Drysdale Commercial from 1968

Don Drysdale Vitalis commercial, 1968 at Candlestick Park.
Notable performers:
Don Drysdale - pitching
Herman Franks - Giants Manager
Tom Haller - catching (in his first year with the Dodgers) Frank Johnson - a .190 hitting backup third baseman is hitting for the Giants.
Umpire is an actor I believe.
Others that I can identify:
#5, Jim Lefebvre - on bench, catches ball tossed to him by Big D.
#21, Jim Brewer
#3, Willie Davis
#17, Hank Aguirre (Dodger relief pitcher for one year who had real good numbers)
#14 - not sure, nobody on the active roster that year wore that number.
Did anyone ever use Vitalis?  What was that stuff anyway?  I see that it is still on the market sold as a shampoo, gel, mousse and hairspray.  The stuff Drysdale had in a bottle looked like pure liquid.  A few years later basketball star Pete Marovich did a few commercials for them.


  1. Damn whippersnappers - Vitalis was a men’s hair tonic similar to Brylcreem and VO-5 but not in a tube (my dad used it). Their claim to fame was that it wasn’t greasy. In fact, in some of their earlier commercials, their shtick was a hot looking lady running her fingers through her man’s hair and didn’t get any grease or oil on them.

    As you may or may not know, Drysdale was always being accused of loading up a ball with foreign substances, which he claimed that he never did. He did, however, admit to occasionally loading up a ball with spit (but not until after he retired, of course).

    Here is an excerpt from Don’s great autobiography entitled “Once a Bum, Always a Dodger”, which is mandatory reading for every true Dodger fan or for anyone who wants to know what “the Dodger Way” really means:

    “At the end of the 1969 season, the Dodgers held a day for me at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers were playing the Giants, of all people, our fiercest rivals. And the Giants gave me a bottle of Vitalis and a tube of Vaseline (as a retirement gift).”

  2. I know about brylecream, noxeema (from the Joe Namath commercials), Aqua Velva (Pete Rose)...but Vitalis? I never knew what the stuff was. Thanks for the education Ron.

    1. After that commercial came out (and it was a popular one around these parts), we would always yell "Grease ball... Grease ball" whenever we played over-the-line or pick-up games at the local park or high school.

      Thanks for the flashback, brother.