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Rob Nelson, inventor of Big League Chew, tells the story of the famous gum's invention

Hear the story of how Big League Chew was invented

Major Leaguers love their bubblegum. They chew it pretty much all the time:


Baseball is one of the few sports that one can play while chewing gum, so it makes sense that its players would be eager to take advantage of that. Add to it the fact that one of baseball's most iconic venues is named after a brand of chewing gum, and it's easy to get the sense that gum, itself, is part of the fabric of the game -- a fabric made ever so slightly chewier by the stuff.

One brand, Big League Chew, became famous over the years for its baseball-centric packaging, and it turns out its creator, former Independent Leagues pitcher Rob Nelson, came up with the idea on a whim while sitting in the bullpen for his team. Here's what he told MLB Network Radio:

"The truth is, it was in the bullpen in the summer of 1977, the last year of the Portland Mavericks ... I read an article in People Magazine on how to make your own bubblegum, and I remember telling my dad when we signed the first deal that I think I wouldn't have to paint houses in the summer anymore because this gum might pay for the summers."

You can hear the full story in the video up top, which includes a cameo from former Major Leaguer Todd Zeile and a do-it-yourself bubblegum making kit.  

So, in honor of this glorious candied substance, check out the video below, complete with some of the goofier gum-related moments of recent years in MLB:

Just try to keep it out of your hair: