Refrigerator magnet pictures an early 1950s advertisement for Beechnut chewing gum with an endorsement from Yankees pitcher, Superchief Allie Reynolds (1917-1994).
Beech-nut gum was introduced in 1910 by what was then known as the Imperial Packing Company. The firm had gotten its start with smoked hams and bacon produced by Ephraim Lipe of Canajoharie, NY, the father of one of the founders. Baby food was added in 1931. There were many mergers and acquisitions over the next ninety five years, including Life Savers candies in 1956. Today Beech-Nut is owned by the Swiss company, Hero Group. Beech-Nut Spearmint gum is no longer manufactured but it was chewing gum that saved Beech-Nut's bacon during the Depression in the 1920s when sales of its more expensive products dropped.
Please note: the ad has been altered to replace an endorsement from a consumer unrelated to baseball.
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Reynolds graduated in 1938 from Oklahoma A&M with a teaching degree. His scholarship was in track but upon seeing him throwing a javelin, the baseball coach asked him to fill in for the team's regular pitchers during practice. Reynold's performance was so impressive that he joined the team as an outfielder pitcher and helped lead the team to win the state conference championship in 1938. In high school he had been an outstanding football quarterback and running back, and was drafted by the New York Giants as a halfback, but Reynolds chose a career in baseball.
After five years in the Minor leagues Reynolds signed with the Cleveland Indians where he served primarily as a starting pitcher. He was traded to the New York Yankees in October, 1946 and soon became the team's best pitcher. In 1951 he threw two no-hitter games, the first in the American League to do so. 1952, the year in which this ad appeared, was his best season in which he won twenty games and led the League in run average, strikeouts and shutouts. His baseball career was brought to an early end in 1954 as a result of back injuries suffered during a 1953 team bus accident.
Reynolds went on to a successful career in the oil industry and played an important role in the establishment of a pension plan for ball players.