A few years later in 1979, Nelson reportedly read about a make-your-own-bubble-gum company out of Texas, so he purchased a kit to make the candy and some flavor extracts from the local supermarket. Nelson didn’t have the proper supplies in his own kitchen, and instead requested the usage of Todd Field’s family kitchen. After all, he was the inspiration. Nelson shredded the pieces with a pizza wheel to look more like tobacco and sent the batch off to his investor, former World Series player for the New York Yankees, Jim Bouton. The duo sold the idea to the Wrigley company the following year, which was at the time the owners of the Chicago Cubs baseball team.
The combination of the great gum idea and the baseball iconography made Big League Chew a huge hit. Kids loved the ability to easily share the gum with friends, as well as avoid the fate of the kids in “The Sandlot,” who ingested chewing tobacco in an attempt to look like their heroes, only to puke all over themselves. Big League Chew remains popular to this day, and has even replaced actual chewing tobacco by professional ball players as a means to keep their mouths moist enough to spit out the dirt they catch in the field. Looks like Todd Field has been knocking it out of the park in more ways than one for even longer than most have realized.
“TÁR” arrives in theaters on October 7, 2022.