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‘I Hope He Won’t Be a Dodger Anymore. Maybe He’ll Be a Cardinal.’ Jon Hamm Explains His Viral Trea Turner Hype Video.

The Dodgers’ shortstop entered free agency with a splashy sales pitch—and an iconic salesman. Here’s how and why.

If you were looking for a new job, and that new job had the potential to pay you an unfathomable sum of money that would set up you and your family for generations to come, wouldn’t you like it if the most accomplished pitchman imaginable was on your side?

Trea Turner’s free agency is off to a glamorous start.

In a sizzle reel sent to MLB agents on Monday (and first shared by ESPN’s Jeff Passan), a deep and unmistakable voice begins to narrate:

Trea. Vance. Turner. A true superstar in today’s game, this guy does it all. He can run. He can throw. He plays elite shortstop. He hits. He hits for power. Did I mention he hits for power?

There’s truly nothing Don Draper—O.K., Jon Hamm, the actor who sewed Draper into the fabric of television history—can’t sell.

Hamm put on his salesman hat in pitching Turner to the free-agency market.

Hamm put on his salesman hat in pitching Turner to the free-agency market.

For the fans of 29 major league teams, Hamm is immediately recognizable for his work in Mad Men, and in movies like Top Gun: Maverick, and in countless real-life ads.

In St. Louis, though, he’s a native son and, famously, a die-hard sports fan. Hamm has turned up at Dodger Stadium and Fenway Park and many places in between, always a Cardinals hat pulled down low, always a knowing smirk for that home fan who might be annoyed by the interloper—until they realize he’s a Hollywood A-lister.

So when Hamm voiced Turner’s viral hype reel, Cardinals fans leapt to the obvious conclusion: He’s coming to St. Louis, no doubt about it.

“I bet, I bet,” says Hamm, laughing. “Well, that was the point.”

Hamm is hardly just a celebrity prop fan brought in for star power. His excitement about player movement is palpable as he talks about this summer’s Juan Soto derby and the rotation of blogs and websites he scours every day for rumors and reports.

“Hot stove is a fun thing to play, you know?”

And now Hamm (who’s also narrated countless sports projects, including St. Louis’s 2011 World Series championship documentary) has put his hands on the knobs of the stove.

That happened in part because of some simple overlap: CAA’s stage and screen division reps Hamm, and its sports division reps Turner. When Turner’s representatives wanted to make noise to start the winter, they didn’t have to look far for one of the most recognizable sounds in the business.

“I have some friends … who represent Trea,” Hamm explains. “They had asked me to help with this thing, and I said, ‘Why not? Sure.’ I like Trea Turner; I’m happy for his success. … I hope he won’t be a Dodger anymore, and maybe he’ll be a Cardinal. Who knows?”

It’s not just the idle wish of a famous fan that ties Turner to St. Louis in free agency. The Cardinals enter the offseason having shed significant payroll, and with president of baseball operations John Mozeliak pledging that payroll will increase.

Turner, who’s posted an OPS+ of 117 or higher every year since 2019, would be a transformative fit at the top of St. Louis’s lineup—and he would almost certainly represent the largest free-agent contract signed in Cardinals history, besting the seven-year, $120 million deal given to Matt Holliday in ’10.

But with that kind of excitement, and with an athlete who may be just as recognizable by name as Hamm himself, is a narrated reel of Turner’s highlights really necessary? Surely any decision-maker in a position to sign a player of that level doesn’t need to be refamiliarized.

“Even within that particular audience that is knowledgeable about the subject matter,” says Hamm, “there’s still something to the point, I think, of getting people excited.

“You can put a spreadsheet up and have all the numbers on it, or you can set it to music and make it look good. And I think that’s what good agents do. They drum up excitement in the market, and that’s what’s happening. I certainly saw it at the [trade] deadline with Juan Soto, and I think you’ll see more and more with these kinds of generational talents that can really help teams get to the next level.”

Turner, with an OPS+ of 117 or higher every year since 2019, would be a transformative fit anywhere he goes.

Turner, with an OPS+ of 117 or higher every year since 2019, would be a transformative fit anywhere he goes.

Cue Don Draper. Trea Turner isn’t a spaceship. He’s a time machine. He goes backward; he goes forward. He takes us to a place where we ache to go again. Round and round and back home again, to a place we know we are loved.

Jon Hamm would prefer that place is deep short at Busch Stadium.

“You have the opportunity to change the direction of your franchise with a centerpiece,” he says in closing the reel’s narration. “A player that gives you a chance to win every day with him at the top of your lineup. Focus now because the opportunity will pass you by in a flash.”

Trea Turner: the cure for the common shortstop.

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