O'Ryans Village Posting Page
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Green grass, birds chirping and leaves budding on the trees. This can only mean one thing....Baseball. Very few things bring joy to so many people as the start of the baseball season. Well what about Santa? Surely he brings joy to people. Santa brings joy to entire continents for a month at a time. True, but Ken Griffey Jr, Gary Sheffield and Frank Thomas bring that level of excitement for six months straight. Does ESPN replay Santa's sleigh ride three times a night during the holiday season? Hardly.

Let's rewind then back to the summer of 1995. Growing up in Wisconsin every free minute of the spring and summer was consumed following the Milwaukee Brewers. In '95, with the departure of the Yount and Molitor leaving a gaping hole in my dream line up, I still had BJ Surhoff working the infield at County Stadium.  Even the classic Brewers logo changed for the first time in my lifetime causing me to have to replace all of my jerseys and hats. What is a twelve year old boy to do when everything he knows about baseball suddenly changes???

Enter Big League Chew. Even if you weren't a gum chewer any other time of the year, you always had a handful for baseball season. What were your other options? Not the little piece of plastic that came with the fresh deck of baseball cards you had to get to stay current with the new season. That was a good way to chip a tooth while spreading your new cards out on your bed. Praying to Babe Ruth that you got a new foil card, but sometimes only coming away with a Cubs player that you'll trade off to a friend on the playground tomorrow. What did Big League Chew have in store for us this year? A championship ring, that's what. For the low, low price of only three UPC codes (plus shipping & handling), you could have your very own championship ring like the pros wear! The baseball diamonds around the neighborhood were buzzing with excitement. "What teams are you getting?" and "Maybe Chipper Jones will deliver it himself".

After a whole lot of work to convince my mom that I needed all three packs at once she finally gave in. I couldn't just buy one at a time. Who knows how long that could have taken. Fortunately I was going away to camp for three days so I assured her I would share with the rest of the guys in my cabin. Little did I know that three pouches of Big League Chew would take up what seemed to be a one gallon ziplock bag. That's a lot of grape gum. Almost too much to fit in to my back pack. So we clipped the UPCs and sent them of to Big League Chew. Then I waited for what seemed like a decade. The entire time I spent at camp I kept chewing and thinking about the rings that would almost certainly be waiting for me at hope. Sure enough, when I returned home with a sore jaw from handfuls of grape goodness, my rings were waiting.

An unassuming brown paper envelope held every sixth grade boy's dream....




Opening it up I instantly knew how the pros felt every October.  I was now in the same great company as the Yankees, Braves, Red Soxs...but thankfully not the Cubs. The gold shined so bright you almost had to smear that black paint on you cheeks to keep the sun from blinding you. Everywhere I went that summer my championship rings followed. To this day I'll still pick up a pack of Big League Chew to keep in my desk at work for those days when the summer seems too short or work too long. Especially when those Cubbies come to town... The simple smell of that shredded, sugary, bubble-blowing gum brings me back to when the summers were still free and baseball players were my heroes.

All of this reminiscing came about when I read that Ford Gum bought the right from Wrigley and is moving the production of this American icon back to the USA.

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by: O'Ryans Village

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