BB Bats are a rectangle shaped piece of taffy on a stick, a taffy lollipop or ”sucker”. This large taffy lollipop comes in several flavors, such as Banana and Strawberry, and is a rather large sized for a lollipop, much more so then the small lollipops you can get for free at the bank. BB Bats were first made around the year 1924, and its trademark was filed in the year 1926. BB Bats look much like Kits Taffy on a stick, although BB Bats are larger. The company that invented BB Bats is Fair Play Caramels, Inc, who started making the BB Bats and its close counterpart Kits taffy in Johnson City, NY. The long shape of the candy often means that people compare the candy to mini-baseball bats, and judging from the packaging art maybe that was the idea, as BB Bats are depicted with baseball players on them. BB Bats may no longer be as well known as they used to be, you will rarely find them in stores, but they are a loved candy product and do still possess a fond fan following of loyal consumers.
BB Bats History
BB Bats are “suckers” aka lollipops that are made from taffy. BB Bats was first invented in the year 1924 and patented by Fair Play Caramels, Inc. The Fair Play Caramels company began to produce BB Bats in Johnson City, NY, alongside a related product, Kits Taffy. BB Bats look like larger versions of Kits impaled on a stick to form a sucker or lollipop. BB Bats are sweet, chewy, and have been made in 4 flavors, each flavor being shown by the color of its packaging. The taffy part of the product itself is colored the same color as its packaging, such as pink for Strawberry flavor or yellow for Banana flavor.
BB Bats used a newly patented technique of packing impaled pieces of confectionery, which consists in packing said pieces in an upright position in a container with the impaling sticks projecting above such container and slipping a free cover over the container so that the cover is supported on the tops of said impaling sticks. Also in the patent Fair Play Caramels, Inc. claimed as their own an article of manufacture comprising a container consisting of a body portion, impaled pieces of confection packed side by side in said portion with the impaling means extending above the body portion, and a free cover telescoped over the body and supported upon said impaling means. A picture of the method described in the patent show rows of BB Bats upside down with the sticks on top being impaled downwards into the confection.
BB Bats are associated with baseball, and a very long and shaped in a manner that, with some imagination, one can pretend the candy is a type of miniature baseball bat of sorts. The company that manufactured BB Bats seems to feel there should be an association. There is little to show if BB Bats were actually sold at baseball games, other then a questionable forum post or 2, and the depictions of baseball players on the packaging art of BB Bats may just be for show and association due to the shape of the product. Each piece of BB candy is about 2.5 by 7/8 of an inch. The long piece of taffy is pierced by a long stick that the user can hold onto as they eat, unlike BB Bats counterpart product, Kits Taffy, that is simply eaten with you holding onto the piece of taffy. This simple addition of a stick took a new manufacturing process to make the product correctly and helps make BB Bats unique and desirable.
BB Bats passed from Fair Play Caramels, Inc to the Gilliam Candy company, who bought the brand in 1990 and produced them in Paducah, KY. Gilliam licensed the production of BB Bats to Sophie Mae, which made the product in Atlanta, GA. Sophie Mae was eventually sold to Georgia Nut which made BB Bats under their "Family Brands" label in Skokie, IL. Some BB Bats were also sold under the "Georgia's Confections" name. When Georgia Nut stopped producing BB Bats, the brand was licensed to Warrell in 2009 and they made the candy at their Warrell Classic plant in York, PA until the fall of 2010. Runk Candy acquired the equipment and BB Bat brand in the summer of 2011 and re-commenced manufacturing in the spring of 2012 in Cincinnati, OH.
The Year BB Bats Was Invented
BB Bats was invented in the year 1924, and its trademark was filed in the year 1926. A patent for creating BB Bats packing method was filed in July 2, 1929 by Fair Play Caramels, Inc.
The Company that Invented BB Bats
BB Bats was invented by the company Fair Play Caramels, Inc. Eventually Fair Play Caramels sold BB Bats to the Gilliam Candy company.
The Company That Makes BB Bats
The company that makes BB Bats as of 2019 is Runk Candy. Runk Candy states its copyright is from 2000-2015. Runk candy sells BB-Bats, Kits and Marpro Marshmallow Cones. Runk Candy acquired the BB Bat brand and its equipment in the summer of 2011 and began manufacturing in the spring of 2012 in Cincinnati, OH.