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Friday, February 17, 2006

Save The Ball!

Anyone who grew up in Southern California probably remembers the orange and blue Union (later Unocal) 76 balls that sat atop their signposts at Union's gas stations. Many of us had moms, dads, and grandparents who drove around with a miniature, Styrofoam version of the ball attached to their car radio antennas.

Some time ago, Unocal sold the 76 brand to a company that later became part of Conoco-Phillips. Then, Unocal itself was consumed by ChevronTexaco.

The ball brings back memories for many of us of the Union 76 at Dodger Stadium, the TV commercials with gas station owner Murph and in October when many 76 operators would wrap the ball in plastic to make it look like a Halloween jack-o-lantern.

Since taking over the 76 stations, Conoco-Phillips has axed the orange ball, opting instead for a sign that places the 76 logo over a red disk on a flat sign. Besides the ball, a huge Union 76 logo that existed on the side of downtown building for 55 years was eventually let go this year to make way for a Disneyland ad.

At least a couple of efforts are underway, of course, to try to convince Conoco-Phillips to bring the ball back. Save the 76 Ball Petition is run through the Petition Online service by Kim Cooper and the folks at the 1947 Project blog have their own petition going as well.


Blogger Kim said:

Thanks for spreading the word! Just to clarify, I'm Kim from 1947project, and there's just one petition as far as I know. To try to consolidate the information and avert such confusion, we've just launched a site dedicated entirely to the 76 Ball campaign, http://www.savethe76ball.com.

Save Ray's Balls!
It's Not Too Late!

February 17, 2006 9:19 AM  

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