Vintage Toronto Ads: Ee-Yah Drinks Coca-Cola
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Vintage Toronto Ads: Ee-Yah Drinks Coca-Cola

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Source: The Globe, August 10, 1910.

Baseball Hall of Famer Hughie Jennings earned the nickname “Ee-Yah” for one of his favourite shouts whenever he took the field. While shouting, jumping, and other tactics entertained fans, we’re guessing he kept these habits in reserve while practicing law in the off-season. The drawing in this ad captures the enthusiasm Jennings brought to the game, whether it was as a star shortstop for the Baltimore Orioles during the 1890s or as manager of the Detroit Tigers from 1907 to 1920. The 1910 season marked the first time during Jennings’s reign with the Tigers that the team failed to reach the World Series (which may have been for the best, considering the team failed to win the ultimate baseball prize during any of those series). One of Jennings’s Baltimore teammates, fellow Hall of Famer Joe Kelley, managed the Toronto Maple Leafs during this period and led the team to International League titles in 1907 and 1912.
Coca-Cola launched its Canadian operations in 1906, when the emerging soda giant began bottling at 65-67 Bellwoods Avenue (an address currently occupied by Charles Street Video). The company got off to a rocky start locally when the property’s previous owner was sued over an unpaid commission when the property sold. The defendant claimed the plaintiff was not just a real estate broker but an agent of Coca-Cola, and as such paying a $250 commission constituted fraud. The plaintiff won round one of litigation in February 1906, but the defendant won his appeal at Osgoode Hall two months later.
Additional material from the April 20, 1906 edition of the Globe.

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