Matt Kemp and Cole Hamels are shoving aside those iconic cartoon characters who have adorned the packages of Big League Chew for over 33 years.
Just above getting a knuckleball to actually knuckle, eat an entire cheese pizza in one sitting and hit a home run in a championship game, every kid wanted just one thing growing up, and that was just a pinch of that Big League Chew you had.
Just a pinch.
The most popular gum on the playground and ball field is getting a face lift towards realism. Gone are the silly characters of your childhood, replaced by the superstars of today.
ESPN reports we will see new packages by June with Dodgers' Matt Kemp and Phillies' Cole Hamels on the front.
Before you scream that your childhood is being trodden upon, consider there is a heavy charity influence in this deal.
As the report states, some of Kemp's cut "will go to Kemp's Kids, which provides inner city youth a chance to get into baseball and stay off the streets."
This particular story hits close to home because much of what I learned in life, I learned from these pouches. Let's discuss:
- You had to dip into your Chew in secret, because if any kid caught whiff of what you had, they demanded "just a pinch." One "sure, OK, just a pinch" later and you are stuck with half the gum you had previously. (Incidentally, this would later prepare me for the kind of people who don't throw in on pizza because they are only going to have, "one slice."
- Just because you don't crave something doesn't mean you won't eat the whole damn bag in one sitting. I have never once craved Big League Chew. If I am given a bag, however, that thing will be killed shortly. It's impossible not to replace the gum the second it loses its flavor.
- Gum loses flavor quickly leading to one unfortunate predicament (see No. 2).
- Sour Apple trumps whatever you are holding, every time.
As the report reminds us, Rob Nelson and Jim Bouton created Big League Chew in 1977 as an alternative to chewing tobacco.
Growing up, it was as familiar as post-game snacks, Squeez-Its and Gushers. It also taught me one saying that has served me well through life.
No, you can't have any of my Big League Chew.
Hit me up on Twitter, but not for any Big League Chew.