Question: What Bloom County character dreamed of having an interspecies relationship with Diane Sawyer?
Last Question: What National League team posted the best overall record in baseball in 1981, but missed the playoffs thanks to the strike-spawned “split season”?
Answer: The Cincinnati Reds
The Reds finished the first half of the season in second place with a record of 35-21, just one-half game behind the eventual World Champion Los Angeles Dodgers, and one-and-a-half games behind the Houston Astros in the second half, in which the Reds were 31-21, good for second place, again.
Here is an awesome Tweet from the official Back to the Future. Thanks to my friend Jim for sending this my way! For those of you who don’t follow baseball, last night, the Chicago Cubs won their first World Series title since 1908. This was predicted in Back to the Future Part II. The only problem is that this took place in 2015 and not 2016. But this discrepancy is explained here. Congratulations to the Cubbies!
“You’re in the big leagues when you’re into Big League Chew!”
Ah, the athelete’s answer to candy cigarettes – Big League Chew! Now that baseball season has kicked into full gear, it brings back memories of “dipping” (with gum instead of real chewing tobacco). Oh, who am I kidding? I very rarely got to have any Big League Chew. I was never allowed to have gum unless it was sugar free. I didn’t get to have Big League Chew. I didn’t get to have Bubble Yum. I didn’t get to have Hubba Bubba. But, you know what else I didn’t get? Cavities!! Yes, my teeth to this day, are cavity free.
But, I did feel envious of my friends that got to have Big League Chew. It was so different. Instead of unwrapping a square or rectangular shaped piece of gum, you got to open a pouch, and take out as much shredded gum as you wanted.
Big League Chew was invented by Rob Nelson and Jim Bouton. Jim Bouton was a good pitcher for the New York Yankees in the early to mid ’60s. He developed arm troubles so his career dwindled. He is best known for the book he wrote, called Ball Four. In the book, Bouton wrote about his baseball career. It was unique because it was basically a “tell-all” book, which was unheard of at the time. He wrote about his exploits along with his fellow teammates, which did not go over to well with them. Nowadays, “tell-all” books are commonplace. You might say that Bouton was ahead of the curve (pun intended)!
Sitting in the bullpen one night, Bouton watched his much younger teammates chewing tobacco. Fellow pitcher Rob Nelson said it was too bad they didn’t make gum that looked like chewing tobacco.
After the season ended Bouton called Nelson and offered to put up the money and help sell the idea. They made a great team. Bouton designed a pouch, Nelson made gum in a frying pan and they chopped it up, stuffed it in pouches and showed it to the major gum companies, who all said the same thing. “That’s interesting, but we don’t make anything like that.” Bouton and Nelson said, “Precisely!”
Finally, Amurol Products, a novelty gum company in Illinois, introduced Big League Chew in 1980. To make a long story short, in the first twelve months Amurol sold $18 million at wholesale. Big League Chew still sells today, having replaced chewing tobacco at many high schools and colleges.