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Big League Chew

March 07, 1997|HOUSTON MITCHELL

Big League Chew comes in a pouch and is shredded like tobacco. It even features a caricature of a baseball player on the front. And the product has definite ties to major league baseball.

One day, while sitting in a minor league bullpen in Portland, Ore., former major leaguer Jim Bouton, who played for the Yankees, Astros, Seattle Pilots and Atlanta Braves, and teammate Rob Nelson decided to come up with an alternative to chewing tobacco.

"Rob decided there needed to be a substitute for that terrible tasting stuff," Bouton writes in his book, "Ball Four Plus Ball Five." "So we sent away for some gum base, mixed it in a saucepan with molasses, and sliced it up like chewing tobacco. Then we put it into some pouches we designed ourselves and shopped it to different gum companies. Finally, Amurol Products, a division of Wrigley's, bought the idea and now Big League Chew is one of the hottest-selling bubble gums in the country."

Big League Chew, the shredded bubble gum designed by a former major league pitcher, can still be found anywhere gum is sold for 89 cents a packet.

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