This Day In History: April 13

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On April 13, 1978, opening day at Yankee Stadium, the New York Yankees give away thousands of Reggie! bars to fans, who naturally toss them onto the field after star outfielder Reggie Jackson homers in his first at-bat. The grounds crew cleans up the goodies, delaying the game for five minutes.

When he played for the Oakland A's, Jackson—who signed with the Yankees as a free agent in 1976—predicted that somebody would name a candy bar after him. And so the Curtiss Candy Co., also known for developing the Baby Ruth bar, created the Reggie! bar, which featured chocolate, peanuts and a caramel center.

After he hit the three-run homer, Jackson—who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993—expected the shower of thousands of candy bars. "I didn't want to get hit in the head," he told reporters, "but I knew it was a gesture of appreciation."

Louisiana native Ron Guidry, a Cajun, won the game for the Yankees, 4-2. Afterward, New York sportswriter Phil Pepe referred to pitcher, writing: "If it takes five minutes to rid the field of Reggie bars, how long would it take to clean up bowls of creole tossed on the diamond?" 

In 2016, Jackson told Yankees broadcaster Michael Kay the candy company made $11 million in the New York area from the Reggie! bar in 1978. But production ceased in 1981, Jackson's last year with the Yankees. The Reggie! bar had a brief revival in the 1990s, with Clark Candies as the manufacturer. 

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