In news of product ideas that would never get approved if they were pitched today, Big League Chew — the bubble gum that was shredded to resemble chewing tobacco — has signed Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies as celebrity endorsers.

In years past, cartoon caricatures of burly ballplayers by cartoonist Bill Mayer usually graced the package of the gum invented by Rob Nelson and former major league player Jim Bouton as a chewing-tobacco alternative in 1977.

"This was uncharted territory for us. But these guys epitomize what is good about the game of baseball and the time is right," said Nelson.

Just another reason to love the 1970s. Can you imagine someone making Bubble Balt Salts today? EXACTLY.

Since the players themselves, and not Major League Baseball, will be endorsing the gum, both Kemp and Hamels will appear without team logos. Part of the fee given to Kemp will be donated to Kemp's Kids, a charity which allows urban youth to gain exposure to baseball. Kemp and Hamels both work with PLB Sports, a maker of athlete-endorsed food products.

Big League Chew often sold more than $10 million in pouches annually. It's seemingly more popular than Bubble Tape, which is still around, and totally outlasted the Bubble Burger, which tasted better than it looked.

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