Big League Chew 1982

Big League Chew is a brand of bubble gum. It was created by Portland Mavericks left-handed pitcher Rob Nelson and batboy Todd Field then pitched to the Wrigley Company (longtime owners of the Chicago Cubs) by fellow Maverick and former New York Yankee All-Star Jim Bouton as a fun imitation of the tobacco-chewing habit common among ballplayers in the 1970s. Over 800 million pouches of Big League Chew have been sold since 1980. Big League Chew was introduced in May 1980, in the traditional pink color already seen in established brands of bubble gum. The cartoony packaging, originally designed by artist Bill Mayer, comes in flashy colors such as neon green (for their sour apple flavor) and bright purple (grape flavor). The original shredded R&D concept samples of the product were actually produced by running standard sheets of bubble gum through a standard office paper shredder.

Currently, it is manufactured in the US by Ford Gum & Machine Company in Akron, NY, after taking over distribution rights from Wrigley and moving production from Mexico at the end of 2010.

The original advertising slogan throughout the 1980s, which is still featured today, was, “You’re in the big leagues when you’re into Big League Chew!” It currently bills itself as “The Hall of Fame Bubble Gum,” bearing an official endorsement from the Baseball Hall of Fame.

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