(Big League) Chew On This!

by Laurnie Wilson

The Big Leagues are a pretty coveted place to be. There’s a certain amount of pomp and celebration that comes with making it into this level of achievement. So, naturally, Big League Chew is also an indication of pure awesomeness. But while that may be the case, do you know the history of this purely awesome bubble gum? Read on to find out more!

A Big Past

Big League Chew

Believe it or not, back in the day, (read: the 1970’s) chewing tobacco was pretty popular amongst baseball players. It wasn’t uncommon to see them partaking in this hobby on a regular basis. But after a while, a couple of men got to thinking.

These men were Rob Nelson and Jim Bouton. Nelson and Bouton, who were both heavily involved in baseball, realized that if they could make a gum to capture the players’ mouths, instead of chewing tobacco, they might have a huge niche market in their pockets.

A New Addiction

Big League Chew ShreddedThus, in 1980, they introduced Big League Chew, a pink, shredded gum in an aluminum wrapper. The shredded gum was meant to look like the chewing tobacco so popular with the baseball players at that time.

Within just the first year of its creation, Wrigley sold $18 million dollars worth of this newfangled habit-kicking treat!  So I guess you could say that Big League Chew made it into the Big Leagues, itself!

A League of Their Own

Big League Chew 2Since then, it’s remained a classic favorite amongst baseball fans and non-baseball fans alike! This very American gum also happens to be very patriotic. When Wrigley sold the brand to Ford Gum, they ended up with some leftover pouches after their distribution rights ended. So what did they do? They sent them to our troops! Now if that’s not American, I don’t know what is.

So next time you’re in the mood for some gum, consider Big League Chew. It’s sure to please your craving and have you feeling like a true patriot in no time. And now you can say you know what started it all. Not too shabby, eh?

Sources:

  • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_League_Chew
  • https://www.jimbouton.com/chew.html
  • http://seamheads.com/2011/01/28/talking-with-rob-nelson-about-big-league-chew/