Big League Chew from Origins of Iconic Sports Foods Slideshow

Origins of Iconic Sports Foods Slideshow

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Big League Chew

While trying to make a comeback in 1977 with the Portland Mavericks, pitcher Jim Bouton was sitting in the bullpen with teammate Rob Nelson who noted it was too bad someone didn't make gum that looked like chewing tobacco. When the season was over Bouton put money behind the idea, designed a pouch, and made some gum that they chopped up. Amurol Products, a novelty gum company in Illinois, launched Big League Chew in 1980 and sold $18 million at wholesale. As Bouton's site notes, the gum still sells today, having (thankfully) replaced chewing tobacco at many high schools and colleges.