Screaming for Baskin-Robbins' MLB Helmet Sundaes

(By Chris, Editor in Chief of and the adult writer of the Gab Four, sponsored by Baskin-Robbins)
For reasons unknown to me, my parents did not approve of purchasing 26 bowls of ice cream for me to eat in one sitting.

Had they only seen the Baskin-Robbins commercials, advertising the two-scoop sundaes served in a mini baseball helmet, they would have known the helmets were free with the sundae. My parents could have just purchased one sundae in a helmet and asked for the other 25 helmets for free, sparing me the indignity of not having a full collection of Major League Baseball miniature headgear.
(It is this type of reasoning that will soon solidify my candidacy as a poet laureate.)

Had I a time machine, I would gladly travel back in time to determine when the concept of eating ice cream out of a hat was first introduced and offer a firm, if not somewhat creepy, handshake to the inventor.

Batting helmets were required of all players in both the American and National Leagues by 1958, and had Eddie Gaedel still been playing, he could have claimed to be the owner of the first miniature helmet.

A company called Sports Products Corp. started producing miniature helmets in 1965. Phone calls to the company's headquarters were not returned, seeing as how the company no longer exists. Though for decades they were the primary producer of the plastic helmets, which found their way into ice cream parlors and MLB stadiums.

While there does not seem to be an entry in the Encyclopedia Britannica for "helmet sundaes," what could have been the inspiration for the creator of what is arguably baseball's greatest phenomenon since the Dot Race? Had an advertising executive inadvertently seen a baseball player eating out of his hat? Was there a prank that involved shaving cream inside a cap? Did the kitchen just run out of cups and cones?

Hoping this does not contribute to me losing my journalistic integrity, I'll claim that Baskin-Robbins began their helmet sundae promotion in 1980. The sundae came with two scoops of one's favorite flavors, along with one's favorite toppings.

This is where it is key to note the difference between "toppings" and "condiments." While both are predominantly the last item added to food and usually placed on top of food, not many eaters request whipped cream and nuts on their burger or ketchup on their ice cream. Keep this in mind.

Seeing as how Baskin-Robbins offers 31 different flavors of ice cream and an assortment of toppings, I used a pencil and paper to calculate that it is best to have a calculator handy when determining the number of options available.

I can only imagine the quandary of indecision Dwight Howard faces each time he enters a Baskin-Robbins, though I am able to thwart this by always choosing an ice cream flavor that includes either blueberries or butter and pecans. And I always make sure to get in line before Dwight Howard.

(Is it possible to get brain freeze from writing or reading about ice cream?)

Some people have been known to eat other items, such as cereal, nachos or spaghetti, out of a miniature helmet. Is this acceptable? No. These people are probably nincompoops. Besides, Kellogg's had a promotion in the '90s for miniature helmet cereal bowls, which were slightly larger than those made for ice cream.

Unfortunately, by the time I was able to drive, Baskin-Robbins no longer served helmet sundaes. This was somewhat of a dark age for people who enjoyed eating ice cream out of miniature protective headgear. Fans who were unable to drive to their nearest MLB stadium resorted to a temporary solution of purchasing a gallon of ice cream and dumping it into a full-size, used batting helmet, before realizing what a messy and potentially traumatizing alternative this was.

However, Baskin-Robbins succumbed to pressure, put on by people willing to risk finding hairs in their frozen dairy products, to reintroduce the helmet sundaes in 2010. By this time MLB had expanded teams, creatively positioning themselves for more revenue, seeing as how connoisseurs would now have to purchase an additional four sundaes to complete their sets.

Having tried to use Google Earth to ascertain whether the concession stands at each MLB stadium currently sell miniature helmets filled with ice cream, I have to admit being unsuccessful at spying.

So this is where I'm asking Baskin-Robbins to make the helmet sundaes a seasonal menu item every summer. It would prevent someone from having to eat 30 bowls of ice cream in one sitting.

Chris is a Waco, Texas, resident, Editor in Chief of, author of the book "Sports Briefs" and the adult writer for the Gab Four. Read more of Chris' solo columns here.

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