History of Big League Chew

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There are not too many gum brands on the market that exhibit feelings of nostalgia. Big League Chew is one exception to the rule (and maybe Fruit Stripe Gum!). One look at a standard package of shredded gum and you’re bound to be thinking about days in the stands at your favorite baseball stadium. What is it about this gum that makes it a staple from our childhoods and a reminder of America’s favorite pastime?

Brief History of Big League Chew

Big League Chew was created by Portland Maverick’s left-handed pitcher, Rob Nelson. It was pitched to the Wrigley Company by Jim Bouton, a Maverick teammate of Nelson’s. The purpose of the shredded bubble gum was to offer baseball players a healthier alternative to chewing tobacco. In the 1970s, this was a common habit.

Though many baseball players agree that they don’t stand on the field blowing bubbles, chewing the gum is a nice distraction and a great way to pass the downtime in baseball. Big League Chew was first sold in 1980, and since this point in time, over 500 million pouches have been sold.

Is it the Same Today?

The shredded bubble gum is still sold in the same foil packets as they were more than 30 years ago. These packets serve the gum chewing habit well since they are easy to open, grab a pinch of gum and keep the rest in your pocket for later. You can also find them in gumballs.

Though the traditional pink color of Big League Chew is most popular, there are other flavors to be enjoyed: grape, watermelon and sour apple. Today, the gum is manufactured in the USA by Ford Gum & Machine Company after taking over the distribution rights from Wrigley.

Big League Chew: Always a Baseball Staple

Big League Chew isn’t difficult to find these days, although the best places to buy the packets are in old-school candy shops that have all the classics. People of all ages love it, mostly because it’s a baseball essential that parents share with their kids and grandkids. And, Big League Chew is still found on our nation’s bullpens, dugouts and outfields. It’s a great way to pass the time and even take some stress off.

As many families fill their Easter baskets this coming weekend, we have to ask: Who will be spoiling their kids or grandkids with a packet of Big League Chew?