The Major League Baseball Players Association sent out questionnaires like this one to its players to determine what endorsements each man had. Today’s players compliment their baseball salary with off-field endorsement. That wasn’t always the case.
This document filled out by Al Downing on July 16, 1970 shows him to have just one endorsement, with Brunswick sporting goods. The left-hander has signed his legal name, “Alphonso E. Downing”.
The 1970 season was a rough one for Gentleman Al. After starting the season by going 3-3 with Oakland, Downing was dealt to Milwaukee where he won just two of his 12 decisions.
In the off-season the Brewers flipped Downing to the Dodgers for utility man Andy Kosco. Downing responded with a great year in Los Angeles. He won a career-high 20 games en route to being named Comeback Player of the Year.
To this day I’ll never forget you giving me a ride home before the start of the season talking about giving the Homer’s to Mr.Aaron before the season started. Murph Friend