Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Esquire: Baseball Is Losing Its Ugly: A Lament for Big League Chew

I’d rather have an after-picture of Bill Tuttle on the pouch instead of Matt Kemp and Cole Hamels.

Earlier this month, it was announced that, come June, Big League Chew bubble gum — invented in 1968 by former all-star pitcher Jim Bouton and Rob Nelson, when both were teammates with the Class A Portland Mavericks — will no longer feature uncouth cartoon characters on its pouches. They will be replaced with photos of actual major leaguers. This blows.

Not the change itself. It isn’t the first time the iconic illustrations of Georgia artist Bill Mayer were swapped out for images of pro players. A brief promotion in the late 1990s had Hall of Famers Juan Marichal, Billy Williams, and Brooks Robinson gracing the gum. What’s upsetting is the players chosen this time: Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp and Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels.

...But that’s one of the beauties of the national pastime: the unnecessariness of beauty. And that’s what’s always been so great about the drawings adorning Big League Chew: They embrace baseball’s brutishness. The butt chin, greasy long hair, kielbasa schnoz. This was intentional. “My characters were exaggerated, crusty, rough,” says Mayer, who’s also done work for IBM, DreamWorks, Levi’s, and even designed a series of U.S. stamps. “I spent a few years growing up in New York. I grew up with Casey Stengel and Yogi Berra. Scraggly, ballsy players.”

Bouton fell in love with the artwork at first sight. “They were funky, edgy,” he says. “They looked real. They weren’t Disney characters. And none of them used steroids.”

Kemp and Hamels are the opposite of crusty, scraggly, edgy. In fact, there are few bigger pretty boys in the game (after Jeter, of course).

Repoz Posted: March 23, 2013 at 08:12 AM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Jacob Posted: March 23, 2013 at 10:50 PM (#4395159)
So, who's are the "funky, edgy” guys that should grace the pouches?

(Besides, the old cartoon characters, I mean.)
   2. Jose is El Absurd Bronson Y Pollo Posted: March 23, 2013 at 10:55 PM (#4395161)
Youkilis seems like a natural.
   3. Dan Posted: March 23, 2013 at 10:56 PM (#4395164)
Harper wouldn't be bad.
   4. Adam Starblind Posted: March 23, 2013 at 11:02 PM (#4395169)
Dickey
   5. Tripon Posted: March 23, 2013 at 11:02 PM (#4395170)
Joe Blanton is fugly. Ronald Belisario has a natural pock marked face.
   6. Adam Starblind Posted: March 23, 2013 at 11:08 PM (#4395172)
Heath Bell
   7. Leroy Kincaid Posted: March 23, 2013 at 11:15 PM (#4395176)
(White) Sammy Sosa
   8. Meatwad Posted: March 23, 2013 at 11:20 PM (#4395177)
is Gary Gietti too far removed from the game?
   9. Barnaby Jones Posted: March 24, 2013 at 03:23 AM (#4395203)
   10. PASTE, Now with Extra Pitch and Extra Stamina Posted: March 24, 2013 at 07:13 AM (#4395209)
Julian "Freddy" Tavarez is in a whole different category. We're not trying to scare away potential eight-year-old buyers here.
   11. bfan Posted: March 24, 2013 at 09:41 AM (#4395214)
Esquire is a pretty boy fashion magazine. I don't get my fashion news from SI, and I don't get my sports news from Esquire or Elle.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
SBB, Live from the Alt-Center
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogArthur: Buster Posey Has Quietly Become A Lock For Cooperstown
(38 - 4:33pm, Aug 19)
Last: Dog on the sidewalk

NewsblogOTP 14 August 2014: The American Pastimes of Rock ’n’ Roll, Baseball and Poetry
(2545 - 4:32pm, Aug 19)
Last: Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant

NewsblogMLBTR: Dodgers Acquire Curtis Granderson
(7 - 4:29pm, Aug 19)
Last: akrasian

NewsblogAin't no WEEKEND OMNICHATTER until someone gets punched in the face, for August 19-20, 2017
(14 - 4:27pm, Aug 19)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogRed Sox want to do away with 'racist' legacy of famed Yawkey Way
(92 - 4:17pm, Aug 19)
Last: bookbook

Gonfalon CubsNow or Never
(95 - 4:05pm, Aug 19)
Last: Moses Taylor, Unwavering Optimist

NewsblogOT: New Season August 2017 Soccer Thread
(151 - 3:39pm, Aug 19)
Last: madvillain

NewsblogSkunk in the Outfield
(25 - 2:42pm, Aug 19)
Last: Greg Franklin

NewsblogOT-NBA off season thread
(1808 - 2:28pm, Aug 19)
Last: 2 dudes are better than STIGGLES; i'm both of em

NewsblogMLB.com: O's/Angels hit 10 home runs; Manny caps it off with Walk-Off Grand Slam
(1 - 2:19pm, Aug 19)
Last: LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim

NewsblogTwins Byron Buxton evolving as a hitter | MLB.com
(24 - 1:59pm, Aug 19)
Last: LA Podcasting Hombre of Anaheim

NewsblogSummer Top-100 Prospects | FanGraphs Baseball
(24 - 1:41pm, Aug 19)
Last: Tim M

NewsblogOMNICHATTER eats punks like you for breakfast, for August 18, 2017
(123 - 1:33pm, Aug 19)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

Sox TherapyThe Gauntlet
(68 - 9:55am, Aug 19)
Last: Dag Nabbit at ExactlyAsOld.com

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 8-18-2017
(6 - 8:35am, Aug 19)
Last: Rennie's Tenet

Page rendered in 0.3187 seconds
47 querie(s) executed