Poor Kirk Gibson.

A baseball star without a contract.

Nobody wants him. Except the Tigers. And he doesn’t want them. Not at their latest offer.

“Hard Times For Free Agents” read the cover of Sports Illustrated last week, above a photo of Gibson. He was looking angry.

Who’d have thought being talented, rich, and handsome could bring so many problems?

Well. I have a suggestion. It is time for action. It is time for Kirk to do as any businessman would. When supply exceeds demand, there is only one answer.

Take out an ad.
—————————————————- SITUATION WANTED: Young, strong baseball player seeks long- term, mutually beneficial arrangement with major league club. Let me make you great! Location no object. Climate no object. Uniform no object. Money an object. Contact agent.
—————————————————-

This could run in The New York Times, the Atlanta Constitution, the Kansas City Star, and any other newspaper in a major league city.

But newspapers are just the beginning. Let’s talk magazines. Lots of ads in magazines. Like Rolling Stone:
—————————————————- THIS GUN FOR HIRE! He’s free. He’s loose. And he’s ready to rock your town. Kirk Gibson. For a limited time only. Feel the power. Grrrrrr.
—————————————————-

Or Business Week:
—————————– ———————- INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY: High-yield professional athlete available at depressed rate due to sudden drop in market conditions. Low risk of injury. Proven ticket seller. Make your money back in no time. Serious investors only, please.
—————————————————-

Or even Soldier Of Fortune magazine:
—————————————————- ATTN. MAJOR LEAGUE OWNER: If you are a mouse, you can stop reading right now. But if you are a man, this message is for you. Show your courage. Show your guts. Sign on the dotted line and get yourself five years’ worth of baseball power. My name is Kirk Gibson. I can say that proudly. Can you?
—————————————————-

You see how powerful words can be? But let’s not forget pictures. It’s hard to sell these days without pictures. How about this:
—————————————————- DO YOU KNOW ME? I’m a talented, exciting baseball star in the prime of my career. I was the MVP of the American League Championships in 1984. I can grow a beard in six seconds. I drive the women fans crazy. And — are you ready? — I’m available. Yes. You can stop rubbing your eyes now. Get out your American Express Card. Let’s talk turkey, turkey.
—————————————————-

And then there’s the personals. Oh yes. The personals are very big these days. Kirk Gibson could advertise in the personals. It might work.
—————————————————- SINGLE WHITE MALE, 28, tall, athletic build, seeks meaningful relationship with other sports lovers who enjoy standing in the sun, signing autographs, and spitting tobacco at anything that moves. Sincere, honest, sensitive. I want to share. Turn-ons? A fastball down the middle, a sizable bank account. Turn-offs? Shaving cream, sports writers. Interested? Let’s get together. Write BOX 23, Detroit, MI. All inquiries confidential.
—————————————————- Too wordy? OK. Let’s go with something simple.
—————————————————- FOR SALE: HR httr. Mint Cond. Looks gd., runs gd. Must see!
—————————————————-

Maybe Gibson could get into one of those Dewar’s Profile whiskey ads. That would be good:
—————————————————- NAME: Kirk Gibson EDUCATION: Michigan State, Tiger dug out OCCUPATION: Free-agent baseball star PHILOSOPHY: “If I’m not worth 5 years and 8 million dollars, I’ll vomit.” SCOTCH: Dewar’s White Label.
—————————————————-

Of course, some baseball owners do not read newspapers or magazines. Some do not read at all. Otherwise, they would read their balance sheets and die of a heart attack.

But owners smoke cigars. This means they need matches. And what is on the cover of every good matchbook?

Why, an ad. How about that?
—————————————————- CAN YOU DRAW THIS FACE? If you can, and you own a baseball team, you might have a new career — as boss of the greatest free-agent in baseball today. Write for more info. Or . . . MONEY NO OBJECT! If you agree with the previous statement, then we’ve got the ball player for you. Call K. Gibson. 1-800-FOR- HIRE.
—————————————————-

Anyhow, there it is. The power of the ad. I feel certain with the right campaign, Gibson’s problems will soon be over. Someone will bite. Someone always bites. How do you think those hair-weave people stay in business?

Of course, if the someone who bites is someone other than the Tigers, Detroit readers can look for another ad soon in their favorite publications.
—————————————————- WANTED: Right-fielder for major league franchise. Must be powerful, fast, and not hung up on material possessions. Great opportunity for right individual. Contact The Detroit Tigers.

Hurry. Please.
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