Obviously I haven’t had a chance the last couple days to check the blog, but there’s a few things I wanted to respond to. First of all, the response has been tremendous. We just kind of threw it out there to see what kind of interest it would take on , and it’s just unbelievable. While we were in Pittsburgh, we had a family that had three boys, and they all had their Gum Time T-shirts on, and each kid had a pack of Big League Chew that they had me sign. I signed about three more at the hotel Saturday, too. It’s not going anywhere. They all say they were going to be chewing a lot of gum at the games.
There was the comment from firstname.lastname@example.org, who was frustrated over trying to find the gum and wondered where players like me are able to get so much of it.
One of the things we’ve talked about trying to do is selling the gum at the park. The difficulty of trying to do that is the stadium crews probably aren’t really big on that. It’s something we may look into and see if that would actually fly. Also, with the actual Big League Chew pack, we may be able to get one specifically for the Detroit area that kind of ties in the Tigers, Big League Chew and myself so that it kind of appeals to all sides, can be fun too, and would make it available. Plus, the fans have been bringing it into the stadium, anyway. They’re chewing it in there and I’m sure there’s gum being stuck on seats. Typically, you’d want people to be a little bit more responsible in how they dispose of it, but to address that issue, that’s something we’re looking into trying to get done.
On to the poem . . .
Hey hey big Nate
I think you’re great
I am a fan it’s true.
"Gum Time" is boss
saves Tigers from loss
Long live the great big pink chew!
Posted by: email@example.com | June 28, 2006 08:37 AM
That’s creative. The fact that people are tying a poem into Gum Time and the Tigers is obviously a testament to how much they’re actually catching onto this and believing in it. It’s fun to see that.
There’s another response from a girl named Katie …
I think the gum thing you started is cool. My team strted it and in late innings.one by a few runs, we start scoring-it is amazing. We not only win because of your amazing pitching, but because of all that work your jaw has to do! Great job today Nate! You Won the game! P.S. I am number twenty-nine on my softball team. I am pitcher too. Every time I do good, it seems you do to. Love Ya Nate,
Your #1 fan
Thanks. It’s good to see there’s a faithful following, not only in baseball but softball as well.
firstname.lastname@example.org wrote: i’m in milwaukee and watch on mlb extra innings. every rally, i’m stuffing my face. i was at the 1st game in milwaukee behind the home dugout, stuffing a wad into my mouth and passing chew to everyone in tiger gear. my jaws were so sore, my girlfriend asked me what was wrong… she just doesn’t understand baseball
Thanks. It’s not only something that’s going on in the stadium. It’s fun to see the Tiger fans across the country that are having fun with this. They’re watching the games at the stadium or on their computers or on TV, and they’re throwing it in and believing it’s going to help. That’s a good time.
Also, some of the adults have been writing in. Just talking about this has really helped them remember when they were playing baseball when they were younger, throwing in gum, seed-flicking, just having fun, the way was the game was built to be. This comment by email@example.com was quite a humorous entry:
Nate – You and the rest of the boys represent what the true meaning of baseball really is; the chance for adults to escape and be kids again. Seeing you dipping the Big League took me back to highschool baseball. The porta-john tipping, hot-foots, sunflower flicking and the most fun "Road Trip!". Keep it up!!
I know a little bit about porta-john tipping. I never actually did any tipping, but I know all about it.
It’s just fun to see how people, more than anything, they’re taking something as innocent as chewing some bubble gum, something that’s been around baseball obviously a long time, and tying it into a success story in Detroit and having fun with it. I do think it’s pretty cool have also placed a value on this. To take the time to actually write in, you have to have a desire to follow it, and they’re following it.
Keep on writing in. I read every one of them. It’s fun reading the feedback.
We haven’t had too many times where we’ve thrown the gum in and didn’t get a rally going. The first time it doesn’t work, we can’t give up on it. It’s going to happen. The big thing is what people can associate a rally with. A rally comes from a lot of different things. It’s a belief that there’s a chance of making something happen when it doesn’t look so good. When you’re down late in the innings, that’s when teams are supposed to bring in their big arms and shut things down. That’s where people need to develop a hope that says: "Hey, we have a chance here." Whatever you associate that chance with — in Detroit right now, we have gum — it gets guys going. It’s what the gum represents. It represents a belief in making something happen. When the fans see that, it kind of spreads in the crowd, and you can kind of sense that it’s going to happen again.
That’s the funnest part about it. It’s what we’re associating it with, and that’s the hope. There’s times in the last three years here where we kind of got down late in the game like that, and everybody just thought, "Let’s go," and if it didn’t happen, whatever. Now it’s like, "Where’s your gum at?"
In a game like Friday night in Pittsburgh, we haven’t come up with a rally-killing pouch yet. In a game like that, it’s nice to jump out and get a big lead early where you’re not always having to press for a rally. We had just enough runs to hold onto it. Defense and pitching typically are the rally-killers, making good catches, big pitches and huge plays, picking teammates up. That’s rally-killing.
Make sure you VOTE FOR VERLANDER! We’ve got to get him in the All-Star Game with the Final Vote. Put in some rally chew for that one, too.