Big League Chew

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Big League Chew
Outta' Here Original variety Big League Chew
Product typeBubble gum
OwnerFord Gum
CountryUnited States
IntroducedMay 1980; 43 years ago (1980-05)
Previous ownersWrigley Company
Tagline"The Hall of Fame Bubble Gum"

Big League Chew is an American brand of bubble gum that was created by Portland Mavericks left-handed pitcher Rob Nelson and bat boy and future filmmaker Todd Field.[1] It was 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 healthy 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.[2][3] Big League Chew was introduced in May 1980, in the traditional pink color already seen in established brands of bubble gum. The cartoon-style packaging, originally designed by artist Bill Mayer, comes in colors such as neon green (sour apple) and bright purple (grape). The original shredded R&D concept samples of the product were produced by running standard sheets of bubble gum through an office paper shredder.

Todd Field, now an actor and director, was not included in the deal with the Wrigley Company, despite being involved in the early prototypes.[4]

Currently, it is manufactured in the U.S. by Ford Gum & Machine Company in Akron, New York, after taking over distribution rights from Wrigley and moving production from Mexico at the end of 2010.[5]

In April 2023, Nelson announced that over a billion pouches of Big League Chew had been sold worldwide.[6]

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.


  1. ^ "The Battered Bastards of Baseball: The unlikely heroes of the Portland Mavericks". CBC. October 27, 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  2. ^ foxsports (May 5, 2015). "Big League Chew: An Oral History". Fox Sports Interactive Media, LLC. Archived from the original on 2019-04-09. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  3. ^ John Notarianni (April 13, 2019). "The Birth Of A Bubblegum Empire: Big League Chew's Unlikely Portland Origin". Oregon Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  4. ^ Colangelo, B. J. (2022-10-04). "Tar Director Todd Field Helped Invent Big League Chew". /Film. Retrieved 2022-11-07.
  5. ^ Fink, James (October 19, 2010). "Ford Gum bites into Big League Chew". Business First. Buffalo. Archived from the original on 23 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-19.
  6. ^ "Big League Chew founder, Rob Nelson, joins the MLB Central crew to discuss the fascinating history of the iconic bubble gum". April 6, 2023. Retrieved April 7, 2023.

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