During the 1977 world series, Reggie Jackson hit three home runs in game six, accomplishing something that had only been done previously by Babe Ruth. The feat earned him the title of “Mr. October” – endearing him to Yankee fans and paving the way for the Reggie! bar, a delicious, but short-lived confection that bore his likeness. The Babe would have been proud.
In 1921, the Curtiss Candy Company introduced a candy bar called the Baby Ruth, yet insisted that it had no connection to the reigning Sultan of Swat, Babe Ruth, who was the biggest sports hero in the nation at the time (probably so they didn’t have to pay royalties). Instead, the company maintained that they named their product after President Grover Cleveland’s young daughter Ruth.
While the debate still continues in some circles, there was no similar conspiracy theory when another baseball legend, Yankee slugger Reggie Jackson, was honored with his own candy bar in 1978. Simply named Reggie!, and featuring a large likeness of the hitter on its bright orange wrapper, there was no doubt that Jackson officially sanctioned this candy treat.
The Reggie! bar was produced by Wayne Candies and was remarkably similar to one of their earlier offerings, the Wayne Bun bar. Both were basically a patty consisting of caramel and peanuts that were covered in milk chocolate. The Bun bar wasn’t exactly selling like hotcakes, so the company looked towards one of the most exciting baseball players of the era, home run hitter Reggie Jackson, who had propelled his respective teams, the Oakland Athletics and the New York Yankees, to a combined 5 World Series wins.
Sadly, the candy bar never quite achieved the same iconic status as its namesake, and within a few years, Reggie! bars had completely disappeared from the candy aisles. The bar did make a small comeback in 1993, the year that Jackson was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame. Wayne re-released the candy bar briefly as a tribute but, once again, it was a short-lived endeavor. Still, there are few kids from the 70s that don’t have some recollection of this candy bar that, although quite yummy, was never destined to play in the majors.
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