Cracker Jack Introduces ‘Cracker Jill’: A Fresh Face For Empowering Female Athletes

Cracker Jack is celebrating the groundbreaking achievements of female athletes by introducing ‘Cracker Jill,’ a new series of female characters that will appear on product packaging beginning later this week. The announcement of the campaign is accompanied by a new spin on the old classic Take Me Out to the Ballgame – which calls out Cracker Jack by name – performed by pop star Normani.

“Cracker Jack has been around for over a century,” said Tina Mahal, vice-president of marketing at PepsiCo, Frito-Lay’s parent company. “This brand has been around for a lot of moments, specifically in sports. [It’s] been around as records were made and as rules have changed. And as we’ve seen rules change, we’ve seen a big transformation happening; throughout sports, girls and women are really changing the face of the game. Because of that change, and because of our connection with sports, we thought it was high time that we introduced Cracker Jill … what we’re trying to do is really shine a light on representation of women in sports, and show women that they are represented, they’re acknowledged and they’re celebrated on even some of the most iconic sets.”

The Cracker Jill campaign features a line-up of five female characters, designed to reflect the five most represented ethnicities in the United States.

The new initiative will include a $200,000 donation to the Women’s Sports Foundation (WSF), a non-profit organization founded in 1972 by Billie Jean King, which aims “to expand access and opportunities for girls and women in sports,” according to the organization’s website.

Bags of Cracker Jill will be exclusively available in Major League Baseball stadiums beginning on April 7, the opening day of the league’s 2022 season. Fans can also visit crackerjill.com to make a donation to the WSF, upon which they’ll receive a special-edition Cracker Jill bag.

Cracker Jill wasn’t designed to serve a limited-edition role, though. “The intention is for Jill to join Sailor Jack as a permanent member of the team roster,” Cracker Jack said in a statement. “She’ll fully remain part of the brand ethos as Cracker Jack and Frito-Lay continue their commitment to equity and representation.”

The new campaign includes a modernized cover of Take Me Out to the Ballgame produced by Normani – previously a member of the pop group Fifth Harmony – in partnership with the Cracker Jack team. The new music video opens with text that reads: “Sometimes all it takes to believe you can do something is to see someone who looks like you do it first.” Following a montage depicting young women breaking barriers in a variety of sports, the video cuts to a shot of Normani standing in front of a microphone on a baseball diamond. “Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jill,” she sings. “No one can stop you if you have the will.”

“One of the most well-known ways that Cracker Jack is associated with baseball and with sports is through that seventh inning stretch and the song Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” Mahal says. “The lyrics that are in there – ‘buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack’ – are woven into the culture of the country and the fabric of baseball. We thought we would tap into that cultural connection … and so we partnered with Normani, someone [who] is a trailblazer in her own right … to update that song. She reimagined the lyrics along with our Cracker Jack team to really celebrate the tenacity and grit of women and girls in sports.”

Source: The Drum

After 105 Years, Cleveland Changing Name From Indians To Guardians After 2021 Season

Known as the Indians since 1915, Cleveland’s Major League Baseball team will next be called the Guardians.

The ballclub announced the name change Friday with a video on Twitter narrated by actor Tom Hanks, ending months of internal discussions triggered by a national reckoning by institutions and teams to permanently drop logos and names considered racist.

The name change is effective at the end of the 2021 season.

Cleveland’s new name was inspired by the large landmark stone edifices — referred to as traffic guardians — that flank both ends of the Hope Memorial Bridge, which connects downtown to Ohio City. As the team moved closer to making a final decision on the name, team owner Paul Dolan said he found himself looking closely at the huge art deco sculptures.

“Frankly, I hadn’t studied them that closely until we started talking about them and I should emphasize, we’re not named after the bridge, but there’s no question that it’s a strong nod to those and what they mean to the community,” he said following a news conference at the ballpark.

The organization spent most of the past year whittling down a list of potential names that was at nearly 1,200 just over a month ago. But the process, which the team said included 140 hours of interviews with fans, community leaders, front-office personnel and a survey of 40,000 fans, quickly accelerated, and the club landed on Guardians.

Dolan has said last summer’s social unrest, touched off by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, spurred his intention to change the club’s name.

“We do feel like we’re doing the right thing and that’s what’s driving this,” Dolan said. “I know some people disagree, but if anything I’ve gotten more and more comfortable that we’re headed in the right direction.

“And actually, the selection of the name solidifies that feeling because of the values that the name represents.”

The team’s colors will remain the same, and the new Guardians logos will incorporate some of the architectural features of the bridge.

In 2018, the Indians stopped wearing the contentious Chief Wahoo logo on their jerseys and caps. However, the team continues to sell merchandise bearing the smiling, red-faced caricature that has drawn protests from Native American groups for decades.

Cleveland’s change comes as the Washington Football Team continues to work toward a similar makeover. Washington recently said it will reveal a new name and logo in 2022.

Source: ESPN

1952 Mickey Mantle Baseball Card Sells For $5.2 Million, An All-Time Record For Trading Cards

A 1952 Mickey Mantle — one of baseball cards’ holy grails — has sold for a whopping $5.2 million, setting a record for the most expensive trading card ever and nearly doubling its value since a 2018 sale.

The card is one of nine known in existence in its condition. It sold to Rob Gough, an entrepreneur and actor, who started the DOPE clothing and CBD line and whose credits include the 2018 film “Billionaire Boys Club.”

This particular card is graded as Mint 9 by PSA — the go-to grading service for cards — and sold for $2.8 million in 2018 to an unidentified buyer, who then sold it to Gough in a deal brokered by PWCC Marketplace, a leader in the trading card investment market.

“Based on our research, this is the nicest looking 1952 Topps Mantle PSA 9 in existence,” Jesse Craig, director of business development at PWCC Marketplace, said in a press release.

The sale further illustrates the trading card boom that has hit the industry in recent years, with 2020 being a particularly strong year for sports cards. Cards these days aren’t just a hobby — they’re seen as investments, in the way people play the stock market.

It’s now a playground for the rich to either invest or live out their childhood dreams.

“I’ve dreamt of owning a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle since I was a kid collecting cards,” Gough said in a statement. “It’s the Mona Lisa of sports cards and I’ve been searching for this high graded example talking to industry experts, dealers, auction houses, friends and I’m ecstatic that I’m now the proud owner of this iconic card.”

A combination of factors led to a red-hot sports card market in 2020: ESPN’s “The Last Dance” made the market boom for Michael Jordan-specific products. The pandemic led many fans and collectors to rediscover cards. In many cases, even normal modern sports-card products were hard to come by at big-box retailers like Walmart and Target.

Source: Yahoo Sports