Word of Gum Time spreading


Where to begin? Well, I would say those first-inning rallies were completely without gum. But you know what? I don’t think there’s ever a time that is without gum. I’m pretty sure somebody in the stands somewhere opened up their pouch and said, "This is my rally chew. These are my five runs." Whoever’s doing it early on like that, it’s working pretty well. First time since 1891, that’s unbelievable. That was incredible. So it’s working early just as well as it’s working late in games.

It’s funny, when we got into town in Cleveland on Sunday night after the Oakland series, we were walking through the lobby of the hotel and I realized we aren’t the only ones recognizing this. I had a Cleveland fan sitting there in the hallway as I’m walking by saying, "Don’t be bringing any of that gum here." Somebody I’ve never seen before, had no idea who they were, but obviously a Cleveland fan. Also on the blog, there was a Cleveland fan who was skimming web sites and saw that we had this blog, and wrote in on it. They stated their loyalty to Cleveland, but felt pretty threatened by the gum, knowing we were coming to town.

Now, when we’re still leading those games, but it’s close, do we bring out the gum? Absolutely, and there’s another story. In the Oakland series on Sunday, it was 8-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning, and Guillen had come up to the plate with a single, double and a triple. Obviously, everybody’s pulling for him to maybe hit for the cycle. So I look down, and there’s Craig and DY sitting right there, and everybody knew what would happen if he were to hit the home run. So I told them to throw in a pack, and DY took his first try at it. And DY isn’t afraid to tell you he’s got a big mouth. He can pack quite a bit in there. I don’t know how much he had in there, but it looked like it was over a pack. He threw in the big wad, and Guillen didn’t get the home run, but he rallied out a walk right there. So something good happened, but we can’t dictate quite yet what we get out of the rally.

It’s been good. The biggest one of the week was the only time that we did it last Wednesday in the sixth inning against Chicago. For the first time, we actually saw it flash up on the boards in the stadium. You know when they say, "Make some noise," or whatever? Well, they said, "It’s Gum Time." We had bases loaded and Craig was up. All the starters and a couple of the guys on the bench had the gum in, we all decided that was the inning. And Craig hits the grand slam.

If we do it on the bench, we’re going to get a majority of the starting pitchers, because we’re sitting around and we’ve got to stay in the game, too, do our part. But from time to time, some of the bench guys will join in, just like DY and Craig Sunday. Gomez has done it. Even if they’re in the game, some guys are jumping in on it. We’re having fun.

The thing is, it keeps things loose in tense situations. You’re talking about big-time moments — big, big moments. You come up in those big situations, and if you don’t have something that keeps you loose, you’ll tighten up to the point of focusing too much on the moment to relax. Enjoy the moment instead of letting the pressure overcome what you’re supposed to enjoy about it. So we’ve had some great moments, obviously. We did it again in the sixth inning of the next game [Thursday] against the White Sox and we tied it up in the sixth and eventually went ahead in the seventh. The only time I put it in was the sixth inning. It’s been a pretty good spot for putting it in.

Again, we’re getting the early rallies, too, that have certainly helped us. I looked at Vance on Monday said, "Dude, that’s three straight games where we’ve scored at least five runs. That’s not easy to do." Early in the game, the pitcher’s pretty fresh. Now that also means he can be a little anxious, getting the ball up in the zone, things like that. But some things have to happen. We’ve gotten some errors to extend innings. You’ve got to have the other team help you, or you’ve just got to be crushing the ball, and we’ve had a little bit of both.

Even now, with the footage that gets on ESPN on the highlights, our camera crews have been switching back and forth to our guys on the bench during a rally. But when ESPN shows it, I’m not sure the people at ESPN know about it. I know ESPN the Magazine had a mention, but the people who are actually doing the highlights, they don’t necessarily know what we’re doing. They probably just think we’re a bunch of nuts chewing a bunch of bubble gum. But it’s definitely popular in Detroit, and it’s not just in Detroit anymore. That’s what I want people to know. Everywhere we go, now it’s not just Detroit people saying, "Hey man, will you sign this gum." Now it’s, ‘Hey man, don’t bring that gum here." Again, it’s the team making this what it is. It’s been great.

Beyond all that, it’s still good to see people from back home on the blog writing in. It’s hard to respond to everyone, but I am reading them all. I want people to know that I read every entry. The poems are still coming. They’re getting longer, more imaginative. But on the next entry, we’ll definitely talk about some of the more interesting entries. And we’ll continue the stories.

As for this weekend, we need some gum. We need some gum. That’s going to be tough. It’s going to be Liriano, Radke and Santana. I had a feeling they were going to do that.

Blog along with me >


  1. John

    Nate, you better pack about 58 pieces of gum into your mouth this weekend, becuase the Twins are ON FIRE and the entire state is going bonkers over this team. The Dome is going to be rockin’ like it used to in the glory days of ’87 and ’91 and you’re right – Gardy smells blood, and that’s why we’ve got Franchise, Radke and Santana all in a row for you. Seriously, best of luck and enjoy your blog, but gotta give my Twins the love.



  2. vanitysammich@yahoo.com

    I love reading this blog, Nate. This whole year has been so ridiculously fun to watch and it’s obvious everyone on the team is having a great time day in and day out.

    As for the MN series this weekend (mentioned in the comment above), I won’t worry too much. You, Miner, and Bonderman–as well as everyone else, but you three are on display this weekend–have proved to me that no challenge is too great to overcome. Plus, should the situation even arise, the gas station next to my house has a whole row of Big League Chew in the candy aisle and I get my paycheck tomorrow. I’m fully prepared to spend the whole thing…

    Give my best to the team.



  3. peysmom30@yahoo.com

    From the moment they said they had you mic’ed up for that game, I knew it would be fun. But to see the momentum that Gum Time has built up has really been an awesome thing.
    It’s made an incredible season even more enjoyable- my four year old daughter giggles everytime she sees someone chewing on a huge wad of gum. Yes, I’m looking at you, Nate. : )

    Thank you and good luck with the Twins!


  4. honolulublues@gmail.com

    I was at the game that started the Gum Time madness! My friend called me during the game to tell me “Nate Robertson is acting like a crazy person in the dugout!” and I was confused. Then when I got home, I checked my VCR, and realized what she meant. I’d like to think that I was a part of Tigers history. Sure we didn’t win that game but you started something there. I hate to compare it to this, but it’s kind of like the Rally Monkey. No other team is doing it, it’s something that is purely a Tigers thing, and it makes the fans feel like they’re a part of this amazing season too. It’s an awesome thing.

    I also ended up going to the game in which you face Roger Clemens (and outpitched him!), and bought a $3 pack of Big League Chew, and let me tell you, it was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever – eaten? Well, you don’t eat gum, but still, it was nasty. Yet I stuffed a whole pack in there for the sake of the team. And we ended up scoring a few runs in the inning in which I choked down a pack of gum (and we won too). I’ve heard some people complain about the gum thing, they think it’s silly, but I don’t think they understand what it’s all about. When we’re down by a couple runs and see you and Vance and Bondo and Verlander stuffing gum into your faces, it “humanizes” the game for us, because hey, us fans are doing the same thing. We’re all connected in that moment, and those of us at home and in the stands all feel like we’re a part of this too, and to an extent, a part of this magical season.

    I also got my Houston Astros-loving friend (who commented on your last entry) to start rooting for the Tigers, and she seems to have picked you as her Tiger. Gum Time has spread to Texas!

    Keep up the good work, Nate. Thanks for giving the fans something to enjoy too 🙂

    Alexandra S.

    PS: I was not surprised the Twins reorganized their rotation for the upcoming series either. But still, I think we’ve beaten all three of those starters this season, so I have hope. And gum.

  5. rharber25@yahoo.com

    Nate, its your friend ‘the Barber’. Just wanted to let you know I’m taking a pack of BLC to the Michigan International Speedway this weekend to hopefully get a win for Andretti Green Racing. Good luck this weekend!

  6. trippndrummer@bellsouth.net


    Gum time is all the way down here in Covington Louisiana… I watch as many Tigers games as I can on my computer with MLB.com. I have given myself several toothaches over the past few weeks. And I sure wish that I had stock in BLG right now because WE are going to chew you guy’s all the way to the World Series. I am prepared to chews wads of the stuff in order to give the proper support to you guy’s. I was born and raised in Michigan and follow every Michigan team religiously and have for 30 years. You guy’s have lightning in a bottle this year man. I’m with you in spirit and tooth decay. We all are.

  7. chrisg@sunflower.com


    My family drove up for the White Sox series all the way from Lawrence, KS. I’m sure you’ve been through here before.

    Right before Monroe’s homer, a guy in the stands was screaming out for some gum, and a lady four or five rows behind him held up a pack of Big League Chew. He jumped over the five rows of seats to get to her, only to find out the pack was empty. A lady next to her held out some Dentyne Ice (little pieces) and he took a piece saying it would have to do.

    Next thing I know, I see Monroe hit the ball, hear a crack (Section 345), and jump to my feet. Great moment. Great fan camaraderie.

    Keep it up. Good luck in MN.

    Chris Gehringer


  8. andrewclarke@comcast.net

    Here’s some trivia for you: Big League Chew was thought up by Rob “Baby Face” Nelson while sitting in the bullpen in Portland, Oregon’s Civic Stadium. He was a pitcher for the Portland Mavericks in the mid-seventies.

  9. jcr3747@aol.com

    ok, I went and bought my “gum time” shirt today to wear for tonight’s game! Go get ’em Tiger!

  10. zetterla@student.gvsu.edu

    Hi again Nate! It’s great you actually read my post and everyone elses, thanks for responding!

    Touching on the 2003 season, I would expect to see the “119 Reasons to be a Tigers Fan” sign again. After 3 years, it remains in my parents basement as a reminder of that season. And, even though it is filled with holes after the rain on the last game of the year in 2003….my friends and I are going to laminate and repair it. It will be back at the park before the end of the season.

    I got to go home last weekend and I got to witness what Comerica Park has turned into on game days. It almost brought a tear to my eye to see the stands packed every day of the A’s series. You guys are playing GREAT!!! And I saw more than one “Gum Time” shirt….

    Good Luck, keep it up!!

  11. swiatkoj@student.gvsu.edu

    Hey Nate! On behalf of Tigers fans everywhere, I’ve written you a poem:

    It’s almost august and we have 70 wins –

    Who wouldve thought that could be?

    I suppose anything’s possible with our tigers…

    After witnessing 2003.

    For us loyal fans this season’s a treasure,

    We thank you for your hard work.

    Though we have fun no matter what the score,

    A winning one is surely a nice perk!

    Gum time has taken the nation by storm,

    It’s power comes from the unknown.

    I’m still waiting to see some gum stuck on hats;

    Do you know how many bubbles you’ve blown?

    With gum comes fist pumps and high fives galore,

    It’s no wonder everyone is smiling.

    How proud i am brings tears to my eyes –

    Except in baseball – there’s no crying!

    So keep up the good work and always remember:

    That even if there’s a bad call,

    We’ll still be there cheering you on

    Through the good, the bad, the ugly…through it ALL!

    Good Luck through the rest of the season!

  12. stinkycheeseman4@msn.com

    Hello, Hello!
    What we wanna know?

    When “Who’s Your Tiger?”

    Comes up on the screen…

    How’s come 29 & 15

    Can never be seen?

    Go Tigers!! Nate is Great!

    I can’t seem to find a good rhyme for Inge….but we’re rootin’ for you Brandon!!

  13. utkrissy7@hotmail.com

    Hey Nate!!
    I just wanted to say thank you for signing the pack of big league chew in Cleveland for “Momma Shultz”. She was SO excited!! She has the signed pack in her cabinent with a little sticky note that says “hands off”! We also gave her the pic of you signing and she put that on her desk at work right next to a pic of me and my sister….so you can see how high you rank with her!! Thanks again and let’s keep winning!!

    Krissy Shultz

  14. beatlesjill79@yahoo.com

    Hey Nate, where was the gum on Sunday? Did you run out? Just kidding. Anyway, do you use the same kind of gum when you pitch games? Or is that a special kind of “pitching” gum?

  15. jranieri44@wowway.com

    Hey Nate,

    We’ll look for some BLC down in Florida tommorrow night. Our daughter is in the World Series in Kissimmee this week and we thought we’d catch a Tiger game while we’re down there. More fun than Disney! Thanks for chatting with the fans, we appreciate it.

    Here’s a rhyme for Inge:

    We love Injee,

    He’s way too stingy

    with a ball that’s hit to 3rd!

  16. kevinhill83@gmail.com


    I heard at least one ESPN anchor who said “It’s Gum Time” like he knew what it was about during highlights of your start on Saturday.

  17. kkaraba@tds.net

    Hi Nate!

    Great game Saturday night The televised game was blocked out in my area so I turned on the radio and saw the game through the announcers voices. I swear I could “feel” Gum Time. You started the game and the rest of the Tigers finished it. Great win!

  18. wepri31@yahoo.com


    i’m not going to lie, you pretty much rock.:) you guys are doing awesome this season! looking forward to august 19 when i will be cheering all my boys on against the rangers! I’ll bring my gum, you bring your game!

  19. m.zanatta@yahoo.com

    Nate, I was immpressed with the Tigers as you guys rolled into MLPS and got 2 out of 3 from my Twins.

    How much gum do you think the Twins were chewing during that 8th inning in the last game? That’s as weird of an inning as you’ll ever see.

    Tough for Bonderman, as he was unhittable for 7 innings. Good luck for the rest of the season, however my Twins are going to be there in September to steal that Central division crown.

  20. pmueller1988@hotmail.com

    I’m from southern Illinois smack dab in the middle of cubs and cards stuff. I still root for the Tigers though I was there in all the bad years and it’s great to see you guys winning! Tell Kenny that he’ll get through the slump! God bless the Tigers!

  21. jay_resogurl@yahoo.com

    Hey Nate,

    I’m sure you guys had the rally gum going last night when Carlos Guillen was at the plate and working on his double to get his cycle and this time, it worked. It’s fun to see you guys have so much fun in the dugout and at the same time having such success. Also, it’s fun to see that you have a lot of fans supporting you all over the US and Canada now. We will be cheering you on at the end of the month as we are going to see you in Cleveland. Keep up the great work !

  22. zachg76@bellsouth.net

    Hey Hey! Nate, loving the “GUM TIME!” from Atlanta, I unfortunately was transplanted out of Michigan sometime in the middle of 2000, but have continued to follow my Tigers, and am having so much fun this year!

    I was watching ya’ll come back in the 8th, and had my pack of chew in at the time.

    All I know if that I am going to have 12 packs of Big League Chew (Can you say sweep X3) ready for the playoffs, although it is getting a little tough to get lately, even here in Georgia, I think the lil leaguers caught on to the “GUM TIME” trend here.

  23. cleancutkid5446@yahoo.com


    I met you at Tigerfest last year– I’m the girl who is friends with Amy and Don M… not sure if you’ll remember me or not (<- feeling dorky)

    Anyway, i think its sweet you have a blog and i read it whenever you update. you definitely did NOT need the gum for the twins series, even though they messed with their lineup. I wanted to ask if you guys were kickin the gum when Carlos hit for the cycle Tuesday. that was awesome!!!

    keep up the great work dude, and good luck tonight- we’ll be cheering (and chewing) for you!

  24. cleancutkid5446@yahoo.com


    I met you at Tigerfest last year– I’m the girl who is friends with Amy and Don M… not sure if you’ll remember me or not (<- feeling dorky)

    Anyway, i think its sweet you have a blog and i read it whenever you update. you definitely did NOT need the gum for the twins series, even though they messed with their lineup. I wanted to ask if you guys were kickin the gum when Carlos hit for the cycle Tuesday. that was awesome!!!

    keep up the great work dude, and good luck tonight- we’ll be cheering (and chewing) for you!

  25. brrichie@sympatico.ca

    Hi Nate – All Tiger fans thought you pitched a **** of a game against Tampa on Thursday night. After the loss, the only thing I thought was “you can’t win them all” and was looking forward to the series against Cleveland. That reporter should NEVER have asked you that dumb question that we would ask the team as to why you split with Tampa. The team went 6-4 on that road trip which we think is great. Please don’t lash out at us fans when baited like that. We are all behnind you and the team!! I will be there to see you a pitch (and win!) against Minny on Tuesday…good luck and GO TIGERS!!


  26. bookie913@aol.com

    Hey Nate, You guys did well tonight against the Indians! They even showed you with your rally chew before Craig Monroe hit that homerun.

  27. pstigerfan@detroittigers.net

    Hi Nate- I am 16 years old nad have been reading your blog lately. Being a Tigers fan since 1992 at old Tigers Stadium, I just wanted to let you know that “Gum Time” has spread throughout Michigan.

    I play on a 16-17 years old summer team called the Tigers, and we are undefeated this year with 4 come-from-behind wins this year with the “rally chew”. Because of this, I purchase 6-8 bags of Big League Chew a week and have 2-3 extra bags in my bedroom to chew on when I am watching you guys come from behind.

    Nice win on that Pudge walk-off homerun! GO TIGERS!

  28. mikeg2799@yahoo.com


    What’s up. I just finished watching Pudge hit a walk off 2 run homer in the ninth. I couldn’t help noticing Zumaya grabbing a huge wad of grape big league chew right before Pudge went deep. I think it was Zumaya’s extra that did it. Make sure you have plenty of grape next time for the Z-Man. Play your game & let the defense work.

    P.S. By the way, you guys are on pace to break the “84” Tigers win record. WOW!!

  29. tigsontop@aol.com

    Hey Nate–

    Looks like Gum Time is working even better than usual! Keep up the magic!!! Thank you so much for this amazing summer. It’s definitely the best ever for this diehard Tygs fanatic.


  30. noblsavg@hotmail.com

    One of those guy who take rolls in Detroit Tigers’ rotation and lead Tigers’
    in top team : That’s you.

    You break out in this year

    I had expected from last year and. Anyway.

    If you have enough time, then

    reply me even short.

    Thanks. Kian.

  31. michael_shriver@hotmail.com


    I tell ya, you guys are making this an exciting year for us all. It’s been a looong time since the Tigers have been this good. I was in little league when they won in ’84, and seeing you guys play this year has really brought back those memories!

    I think it’s awesome how you guys are keeping it so loose. I think that fits into Detroit sports. You guys with the gum and goofing around…reminds me of Kris Draper and Joe Kocur on the Red Wings, how down-to-earth everyday guys they are. I wonder if you get a chance to meet them ?

    Anyway, keep up the great work. Have fun with the Twinkies!

  32. ericjwilson08@yahoo.com


    I want to thank you, not for this year but what you did last year. July 2nd 2005 me and my girlfriend went to the game in detroit against the Yankees. We were sitting 2 rows past the dugout and had a great chance to see you guys up close coming in and out of the dugout.

    Earlier in the day we went to the build a bear workshop and made one with a tigers uniform, a few hours later Jeremy signed it for me and a few min later, you were a ways away down the dugout, i yelled “hey nate”, you looked right over and had me throw it over to you to sign. Your the man. A few hours later i proposed to my gf to fully complete an unforgettable night.

    I want to fully thank you for that. You have always been my favorite fu-man-chu sportin player :).

    You guys were there when we were at the low and to see you guys come full circle and you to finally get your run support!!! Congrats and further good luck with plenty of packs chewed.

    Thank you nate.

    Eric Wilson

  33. toddgaddis@koc-pa.com

    Hi Nate, this is Todd the athletic trainer for the VC baseball team. I wanted to tell you thanks for all you did for us over spring break at Tigertown. It was a trip that none of us will ever forget.
    Continue to keep your eyes pointed to the sky and as you know…great things will happen. Take care and best of luck the rest of the season. All of us back home will be watching, listening and chewing. Phil.4:13


  34. elyhydes@hotmail.com

    Hey Nate,

    I’ve been a lifelong tigers fan, and I think it’s great what you’re doing with the gum time thing. We used to do the same thing in high school with sunflower seeds. Anyway, I watch every Tigers game on mlb gameday…which is a pretty poor substitue for the real thing. I would kill for live video, but just can’t afford it. Whenever you guys are in a clutch, just know your Oregon fans(me and my friends i force to watch) are cramming it in. Only we use Orbitz. Works pretty well though. You owe some of your rallies to us…like Pudge’s walkoff homer. Anyway, to my tied favorite pitcher(other is Verlander) on my favorite team, thanks, man. You guys rock. Stick it to the man.


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